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

Beautysalon Chantilly

Every now and then I visit a beauty salon. Not by professional interrest only, but also to give my skin a boost.

This week we went to Chantilly, in the small village of Eigenbilzen, a few kilometers from Maastricht (Netherlands). The owner, Chantal Houbrechts, gives her clients highly professional treatments in her small, discrete salon she runs from her home. To Chantal, personal advise and  time for each client, are the key factors to her success.

We opted for a facial plus pedicure.

In my article “Should you go for a facial ?” I mentionned what to look for when you decide to have a facial/look for a beautician.

+ Chantal works with her exclusive “all-in one” principle, meaning : one price, all your skin needs. She will decide what is good for your skin that day.

+ Long time experience (30+ years).

+ Chantal is actually working on you all the time ; no endless masks !

+ Hygiene is optimal.

This was by far the best treatment I had in my entire carreer in the beauty business! This might seem exagerated, but when I look at my face now (two weeks later), it still shows.

Her unique combiation of stimulating (heating) mask, followed by an AHA peel, was new to me. Never thought it would work so well…. But it does, obviously.

Even if a facial can be nice/relaxing, it should also be a boost for your skin. This one certainly was!

Facial 75 Euros.

Pedicure 30 Euros. LASER TREATMENT for nail mycoses is available.

An absolute must!

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

“INTELLIGENT PRODUCTS”

The more the cosmetics industry evoluates, the more special terms and words are being used to convince consumers of how highly technological products can be.

One of the things I regularly come across is the idea of “self-adapting” or “intelligent” products. Ever heard of them? I suppose you have!

Meaning: products that “follow your skin cells rhythm” or “adapt themselves to your skin’s needs”.

Like anti-ageing creams or serums that know when your cells need a cetain substance and will deliver it on command. Or a cream or make-up product designed for a “combination skin” (parly oily/partly dry), that will hydrate the dry parts while mattifying the oilier zones.

Foundations or tinted creams that have a “self-adapting color”. Meaning that whatever your skin tone, the product will be right for you, because it will automaticlly match the colour of your skin.

Get back on your feet, PLEASE!

There is NO SUCH THING  as self-adapting, intelligent or whatever the cosmetic industry wants us to believe. Stop taking consumers for being stupid and focus on the science behind formulations.

Cosmetic science and dermo-cosmetology have been through a HUGHE development in the past ten, say twenty years. Ingredients have been PROVEN to work. That’s what it is all about.

Focus on what is good, make lovely, really skin-improving cosmetics and forget about all that crap. You don’t need that.  Thank you.

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

L’OCCITANE SHEA CLEANSING MILK

As cleansing is an important part of your cleansing routine, and I’m still getting a lot of questions about HOW to cleanse and WHICH PRODUCT with, I will be discussing a few facial cleansers in the coming weeks.

L’Occitane (en Provence, like the brand’s full name is), is a French brand, that produces NATURAL skin care products and perfumes. “Natural skin care” meaning that 90% of their ingredients comes of a natural source. A part of these natural ingredients is also biological, meaning that no chemicals or pesticides have been used during cultivation.

Shea Cleansing Milk is a cleanser based on Shea, also known as Karité. Karité is the oil/wax from the Karité tree and has nourishing, regenerating and soothing properties. It also is a source of ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS, which are great for our skin.

The soft, creamy textures smooths over skin EASILY and takes off any polution and make-up in a whip, leaving skin soft and HYDRATED.

Ingredients: Aqua (Water)**, Glycerin, Ethylhexyl Stearate, Di-PPG-2-Myreth-10-Adipate**, Arachidyl Alcohol**, Sodium PCA, Butyrospernum Parkii (Shea) Butter**, Butyrospernum Parkii (Shea Butter) Extract**, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract**, Helianthus Anuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil**, Ethylhexylglycerin, Bisabolol**, Tocopheryl Acetate, Glycerrhetinic Acid, Behenyl Alcohol**, Arachidyl Glucoside**, Cetyl Alcohol, Caprylyl/Capryl Glucoside, Galactaric Acid, Tocopherol, Carbomer, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-Di-T-Butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin, Potassium Sorbate, Parfum/Fragrance, Benzyl Alcohol, Benzyl Benzoate, Linalool, Citronellol, Coumarin, Hexyl Cinnamal, Limonene, Geraniol.

**Natural Ingredients

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L’Occitane shea cleansing milk

Besides the Karitbutter this product also contains Sodium PCA, a natural, skin-identical moisturizer that acts in a similar way as the better know hyaluronic acid. Rosemary extract has stimulating properties and is an anti-oxidant, meaning it protect our skin cells from external damage.

This cleanser has a quite noticable fragrance. Fragrance always is very personal; you either like it or not.

In all l’Occitane shop, testers of all products are available (which is great, by the way), so you can try before you buy. L’Occitane shops are very nice and worth a visit!

Strong points: soft, efficient, hydrating.

Negative points: fragrance. If you have an issue with fragrance, skip this one.

Available at l4occitane Shops or through their website. Customer service is great! (from my own experinece).

www.loccitane.com

TOTAL EFFECTS 7 IN ONE HYDRATING CREAM FOR MATURE SKIN

Many of you will remember the “classic/iconic” Oil of Olaz, used by our mothers during the seventies.

Meanwhile, the brand Olaz has changed a lot: the standard (dated) formulas have been replaced by modern, effective formulas that can compete with many products in much higher price ranges.

Ingredients: Aqua, Glycerin, Niacinamide, Isohexadecane, Dimethicone, Isopropyl Isostearate, Stearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Behenyl Alcohol, Panthenol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Titanium Dioxide, Caprylyl Glycol, Dimethiconol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glycine Soya Seed Extract, Zingber Officinale Root Extract, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Acrylamide Sodium Acryloyldimethyltaurate Copolymer, Polymethylsesquinoxane, C13-14 Alkane, 1,2 Hexanediol, Laureth-7, Cetearyl Glucoside, PEG-100 Stearate, Stearic Acid, Disodium EDTA, Zinc Oxide (Nano), Sodium Hydroxide, Ammonium Polacrylate, Trethoxycaprylylsilane, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Benzoate, Methylparaben, Benzyl Alcohol, Propylparaben, Parfum, Benzyl Salicylate, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Hydroxyisohexyl-3-cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Citronellol, Cl 19140, Cl 16035, Caramel.

Olaz Total Effects 7 in one
Olaz Total Effects 7 in one

Olaz promises “1 product with 7 brilliant advantages”:

  • Visibly reduces fine lines and wrinkles
  • Restores hydration levels
  • Hydrates for a visibly firmer skin
  • Immediately unifies skin complexion
  • Reduces the appearance of small spots
  • Softens and unifies skin texture
  • Immediately improves skin brightness

Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? But if you read things in a more critical manner, you will notice the word “visibly” being used quite often. “Visibly” is what your eye sees, not necessarily what’s happening IN your skin …

So far for the criticism. This product has some (damn) good ingredients, fitting the “anti-ageing” action the product is supposed to have. Niacinamide (Vitamin B3), Green Tea Extract and Ginger Extract all are powerfull ANTIOXIDANTS, which help our skin cells defend themselves against aggressive, skin ageing factors. This means your skin is able to REGENERATE itself much better, resulting in a more youthfull appearance: LESS WRINKLES AND LESS PIGMENTATION SPOTS. That’s what we want, don’t we? Futhermore, the Niacinamide improves “cell communication” meaning our cells collaborate in a better way. Vitamin C (in the form of Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate) helps fighting pigmentation spots.

As the product is very reasonably priced (I paid less than 15 Euros), you’re getting good quality for your money. It’ absolutely a bargain! The Olaz Regenerist Series is even better (formula wise, as it has Peptides), but is also more expensive….

Skin Type: forget the “mature” and buy this as a (preventive) anti-ageing product.

Good things: Ingredients, Price/Quality

Negative points: fragranced, although there should be a fragrance free version available, in case you’re sensitive to fragrance.

Available at drug stores like Kruidvat, ETOS, DA (Netherlands) and through several webshops.

www.olaz.com

 

EYECREAMS: YES OR NO?

I have to be honest, I never really believed in eye creams. Not only did I consider them to be a total WASTE OF MONEY, I also thought that there was nothing the eye zone needed more than the rest of your face.

Paula Begoun, Beauty Guru and “Cosmetic Cop” also wrote about eye creams and described them as “ very little product for a lot of money “.

I thougt the same. Until she changed her mind. And I did too ….

“Eyes are the mirror of the soul”, as we often hear, or read in advertisements for eye creams. A good way of convincing tired people to try their luck with the latest eye cream.

Normally, eye creams do nothing for me, NOTHING. Some even cause me to wake up with swollen eyelids, or bags under my eyes  (which they are supposed to prevent). I never used to advise them to clients.

But then, giving a series of seminars to beauticians for a German cosmetics brand, I realised how many really professional beauticians (and I mean REALLY professional), believed eye creams to be one of the most important products in skin care.

So, now I’ve decided to give them a try. Not necesarilly for myself, but for the simple reason that so many of them give excellent results. Most ladies I spoke to at the seminars had a great eye contour and ALL of them used at least one eye product!  Having said this, nothing is more PERSONAL than an eye cream (well, maybe a serum ; we’ll come back to that).

After 40, our skin changes. Yes, I hear you saying : “not only after 40”, you’re right! But many of us start seeing the first signs of ageing around this age. Dehydration lines,  crowfeets, dark circles, you name it, after 40 we’ve got it ! So a good reason to decide and do something about it; or maybe a little before, from the age of 30, wouldn’t be a bad idea…

Try and get some samples first, I would say. Not every skin has the same reaction to a product. To  eyecreams in particular. And if you decide to give it a go, buy a good one. You’ll need to spend some money. Really good products don’t come cheap.

Plus, think reasonable: if your skin is generally dry, your eye contour will be even more, so go for a rich cream. If you tend to wake up with swollen eyes, a gel formula will generally suit you better. Fragrance free is best: an eye product should’t be fragranced.

Skin care, or rather skin improvement, can not be achieved in just a few days. But a few days can give you an idea of what a product could do for your skin.

Several brands make excellent eye creams (sorry, if I forget to mention some, this list is far from being complete):

Darphin (especially the Stimulskin), Clinique (All about Eyes, both versions), Estee Lauder (Night Repair Eyes), Chanel (the Hydra Beauty Eye Serum), Clarins (Haute Exigence Series), Klapp (Repacell), Paula’s Choice (hope you read my article).

www.darphin.com

www.clinique.com

www.esteelauder.com

www.chanel.com

www.clarins.com

www.klapp-cosmetics.com

www.paulaschoice.com