Trying out the Herbal Dynamics Beauty Vitamin C 25% Rejuvenating Serum

I know it feels like forever since I have done a skin care post. There are several reasons actually, the first is that since I was so focused on skincare that I didn’t get to talk about other things and I wanted to talk to you about more than just skin care. The other big reason was that I wanted to slow down my skin care trials and really give products their best chance of working and to do a little more research on them before I posted. I promise there are more skin care posts coming, soon actually as I am now past the thirty day mark on several products I’ve been trying.

Recently Herbal Dynamics Beauty gifted me a package containing several of their products for the purpose of review.  I have been using the Vitamin C 25% Rejuvenating Serum for several weeks now and am ready to let you know my thoughts about it.  I’m sure you know from past posts that I really like Vitamin C for my skin.

Vitamin C has all sorts of wonderful benefits for the skin.  It promotes collagen production and helps to reduce fine lines and it also protects skin from UV light.  All of which helps skin look fresher and more rejuvenated.

I was super excited by the chance to try out this Vitamin C serum not only because of my love of Vitamin C for my skin, but because it also contains Hyaluronic Acid.  I know you must be tired of hearing me rave about Hyaluronic Acid by now because it is in so many of the products I favor. But the truth is it is in a lot of skin care products because it is a good ingredient to help skin retain moisture and look plumper and firmer, thus erasing a lot of fine lines.  Plus, I tend to look for it in my skin care items, therefore there is a very high percentage of them in the skin care I use.

There are several things that I like about Herbal Dynamics Beauty.  First, before I even tried any of their products, I adored their Botanical Blog and spent quite a lot of time reading through their skin care articles.  I highly recommend it.  Their article on layering different skin care ingredients for the best effect is one I repeatedly return to in order to double check certain combinations.

I also like that their products are Sulfate free, cruelty free, paraben Free and phthalate free. Sulfates can often cause irritation and clogged pores. Parabens can cause skin irritations and can increase the risk of cancer and phthalates too have been linked to increased risks for cancer. All of those things are items I’d like to avoid whenever possible.

As someone who likes to read labels, I also appreciate that the Ingredients lists on all of the Herbal Dynamics products are very easy to read and don’t contain a mountain of ingredients.  Let’s look at the ingredients list for the Vitamin C 25% Rejuvenating Serum shall we?

Ingredients: Deionized water, Aloe barbadensis (Aloe vera gel)*, Hyaluronic acid, Ethyl ascorbate ( Vitamin C), Green tea extract*, Vegetable glycerine, Dexpanthenol (Vitamin B5), Centella asiatica (Gotu kola) extract*, Alpine veronica extract, Carrageenan, and Vitis vinifera (Grape) seed extract*.

*Organic 

All natural / paraben free. Not tested on animals. Made in the U.S.A.

Herbal Dynamics Beauty

So Ethyl Ascorbate is just a fancy term for the kind of Vitamin C that skin care products tend to uses. We’ve already discussed Hyaluronic acid and we know it is fabulous for the skin.  Both of these ingredients sit really high on the list which makes me happy to see.  Water is the first ingredient, which as the Hyaluronic acid locks water into the surface it needs to have some water to do so and there for it is in the mix.  

Aloe Vera is an ingredient we have seen before and tends to sooth inflammation and skin irritations.  It does so in its natural state which is why I always keep an aloe plant in the house and use it to treat minor burns. It is great on sunburn.

Green tea is known for its antioxidant properties and my guess is that it helps with fighting that UV light. Vegetable Glycerine is something I’ve encountered before and it is used to moisturize and soften skin while Vitamin B5 promotes cellular regeneration.

Gotu Kola extract was a new ingredient for me so I had to do a bit of investigating. According to an article in Forbes Magazine it is an anti-aging ingredient that boosts collagen and helps keep skin from sagging.  It also worked well in fading scars and stretch marks. I think it is an ingredient I will probably be playing around with more in the future. The articles I found all made it sound like something I wanted to try out.

But that is for later.

This leaves us only three ingredients on the list.  The first is Alpine veronica extract. It is also known as Speedwell Flower extract and it contains high levels of free radical-scavenging antioxidants, sooths skin irritation and helps with collagen production.

Carrageenan helps bind waters to the skin without clogging pores and basically locks in all the goodness from the other ingredients while the final Grape seed extract, which is seen in a lot of skin care products, is an excellent antioxidant.

And those are all the ingredients.  Not a terribly long list when you look at it and each in it’s own way is a powerhouse.  Additionally, there is nothing that is really extra.  Everything in the serum has a reason for being there.

The Vitamin C Rejuvenating Serum comes in a pump spray bottle and two pumps of the product is all you really need.  After washing my face I patted the skin dry and then usually brushed my teeth to give it a few extra minutes to dry down a little bit more.  There is no real reason for doing so other than texture.  I found it my skin was wet instead of damp there was a very brief moment where it felt slimy. It faded almost immediately, but I didn’t like that. If I waited a minute longer, there was no slimy feeling.  So I waited. That was really just a personal choice. 

The serum is clear and feels like slightly thick water if that makes sense. It is one of those odd sensations where the serum goes on wet and then you can almost feel it absorb so that the surface of your face feels dry to the touch. Not as though your skin was dried out, but more like you patted it dry with a towel. My skin drank in the formula. Like with the Hyaluronic Acid 62% serum from Herbal Dynamics Beauty, I tested to see how much serum I really needed. One pump was not enough and three pumps was too much.

I’m pretty sure the number of pumps of product you need would be very much skin specific. My skin tends to ride the line most people term ‘normal’. which quite frankly I think is more of a dividing line than a designation, but I didn’t assign names. What that basically means is that my skin’s needs tend to be very seasonally dependent. In the summertime I am normal leaning towards oily and in the winter time I am normal leaning towards dry. Spring and fall tend to be an insane weather related yo-yo time for my skin and my routine changes almost daily until the weather settled back down.

With this serum I suspect that one pump would be all my skin wanted in the summertime. Maybe one and a half. One thing i really like about this style of pump is that if I only push it down halfway, I can actually get half a pump’s worth of product if that is what I need. which I consider very handy. At the moment though two pumps are pretty good for me. Normally for reference photos I go for a front shot so you can see my whole face. Because my fine lines tend to be around my eyes and my largest acnes scar (the one I am always trying to reduce) is on my cheek, I took side views of both before I used the serum and after. It isn’t the most glamorous view, but it does show the area best.

My skin at the beginning of the trial on the left and my skin this morning at the official end of the trial on the right

Over all, I really liked this serum.  It went on easily and regardless of wet or damp skin, it was soon absorbed into the skin and I was able to continue with my routine with no issues.  During use I noticed a little plumping of my skin, predominantly around the lines fanning out from my eyes.  My skin also felt plumper and smoother.  I was pleased with the results and am quite frankly surprised by how quickly I saw results with this serum.

I will certainly continue using the product until it is through and hope for continued improvement.  Now that my trial is over I will be pairing it with the Herbal Dynamics Hyaluronic Acid Serum and using them both.  I noticed that while the 62% Hyaluronic acid serum had a greater effect on my fine lines, this Vitamin C serum had more of an effect on the texture and firmness of my skin. Which from reading the labels shouldn’t be surprising. 

This Vitamin C Rejuvenating Serum has a lot of firming agents working for it while the 62% Hyaluronic acid was more targeted towards fine lines.  I don’t know if you can tell in the photos or not, but in person I have noticed a fading of the scar on my cheek. I find it to be not as prominent as it was and so I’m hoping that continued use will assist in fading it even further. I think given the angle of the photos the changes to my cheek scar don’t show up as well. As I didn’t think there would be any difference with it, I was taking the reference photos predominantly for my eyes. The lightening of the scar even slightly was just a pleasant surprise.

Even though this product was gifted to me, I have to ask the same question that I ask at the end of trying out any skin care item: Would I purchase this again?

Given the results I had with the initial trial I would have to say it is a resounding yes. I expect that as I continue to use this product moe effects will be seen. I was very pleased with the Herbal Dynamics Beauty Vitamin C 25% Serum and would certainly make an effort to replace it when it runs out. The Serum retails for $22 so it isn’t over the top expensive and if I can get a really good product like this for a price that isn’t astronomical, I am definitely all in.

I don’t mind paying more for good skin care, it is one of the few categories in my purchasing where cost is almost always secondary to effectiveness, but I am also very happy when the skincare I like does not cost an arm and a leg. Effective and affordable kind of make up my personal venn diagram sweet spot.

If you ae interested, now might be the perfect time to try out Herbal Dynamics. They have a sale going on, I’ll link the coupon code below.

Get 25% off using code WINTER

This is the third product I’ve tried from them and quite frankly I loved all three. The Intense Detox Cacao and Chamomile clay Clearing Mask was excellent at drawing deeply buried clogged pores to the surface so they could be cleared away, the Hyaluronic Acid 62% Serum was excellent with my fine lines and this Vitamin C 25 % Rejuvenating serum was an excellent addition to my arsenal against the spread of fine lines. I would recommend all three. And for those of you interested in learning more about skincare, I highly recommend their Botanical Blog. It is informative and very easy to read.


Herbal Dynamics Beauty

Face Mask Friday: Herbal Dynamics Beauty, A week of masking

This week I have been using the Herbal Dynamics Cacao and Chamomile Clearing Clay Mask.  It was very kindly sent over by Herbal Dynamics Beauty for me to try out and review.  I very much appreciate it. 

the newly opened unused mask

It was also a very good time to try out this mask.

The holiday’s have been full of very rich food for me.  I honestly didn’t think it would be that bad as we weren’t traveling this year and pared things down.  I think the issue is that we have been eating rather healthy for a while now so the traditional favorites wanted at this time of year really threw my body for a loop.

We may have pared down at my house but the difference between the holidays and what we normally eat was very apparent.  And while it did send my weight up (temporarily) it also did a number of my skin.

Tis the season for clogged pores, my darlings. And I was blessed with a truckload.

So bring on the Cacao and Chamomile Clearing Clay mask.

First, let’s look at the specifics.

Brightens and evens skin tone.  Deeply detoxifies and cleanses with clays and blemish-fighting botanicals. Soothes inflammation and redness over time. Supports radiant, smooth complexion.

Indulge without the guilt with this delectable mud mask packed with antioxidants and skin-clearing botanicals. Cacao provides rich antioxidants that target signs of aging and inflammation while chamomile soothes. Gentle clays deep clean pores as botanical extracts and sulfur calm breakouts and blackheads.  Use twice weekly or as needed.

Ingredients: purified water, Bentonite, Montmorillonite, Watercress extract*, Lecithin, Salicylic acid, Kaolin, Sulfur, Extracts of Chamomile*, Lavender*, American ginseng*, Calendula and Honey suckle flower, Theobroma cacao (Cocoa) powder*, Natural chocolate flavor*, Organic kelp powder, L- Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C), Essential Oils of Kola nut and Coffee arabica, and Vitis vinifera (Grape) seed extract*.

*Organic/ All natural / paraben free. Not tested on animals. Made in the U.S.A. 

Herbal Dynamics Beauty

So let’s break down the ingredients list. 

Purified water is to be expected as you do need something to turn the clay from powder into a mask. Bentonie is a type of clay that has a fine, soft texture, Montmorillonite is likewise a clay (it is actually named after Montmirillon in France in case you were wondering).  Both clays are frequently used in clay mask.  As this is a clay mask I would expect to see clay in the mask.  I’m rather pleased to find it at the top. Kaolin a little further down is also a type of clay as well and again it is used in a lot of clay based masks.

Mask on

Watercress extract is something I find amusing as I ate a lot of it growing up.  I am somewhat anemic and my family tried to balance as much of my iron level with food as possible. Watercress is high in iron as well as calcium actually and we used to have it in salads and as a water cress soup when I was growing up.  It was very much a part of my childhood.  In skin care it is supposed to boost collagen production which I didn’t know until I looked it up.  I love that something that always helped my insides is also good for the outsides.

Lecithin is an emollient used to soothe the skin and I’m guessing it works well with the extracts of Chamomile which also sooths the skin and calms irritation. Salicylic Acid targets acne-causing bacteria via exfoliation and helps keep pores clean and reduce risk of future breakouts.  In most acne reduction formulas you will find some level of salicylic acid.  One of my favorite blemish fighting cleansers is from Peter Thomas Roth and features a pretty high concentration of it.  I was surprised to find that in this mask the salicylic acid is derived from willow bark.  I find that pretty cool actually. Sulfur is also often used in treating acne and blemishes so I wasn’t terribly surprised to see it on the list of ingredients.

Mask dried down

In skincare Ginseng works as an anti-inflammatory while Lavender not only fights acne but it has been used in the treatment of dry skin and eczema.  Calendula and Honey suckle flower are likewise also used to help treat dry skin and Cacao powder is a powerful anti-oxidant.

I have to say when I opened the container it was the cacao that felt like the dominant ingredient.  As you can see from the picture of the mask it looks like thick chocolate.  You want to know something?  It smells like chocolate too.

It doesn’t taste like chocolate though.  In case you were wondering.  It tastes like clay. Not that I recommend tasting it, I just couldn’t resist.

Given the ingredients I would expect a powerful detox to my skin when I apply it and I was not disappointed.  As I said, I used this mask this week as well as today.  I applied it as a full mask on Monday and Wednesday but did something different today.  I’ll get into that in a moment, first I want to talk about the full masking.

Mask off

I applied the mask in a thin layer over clean dry skin and let sit as directed for fifteen minutes.  I actually used my Cosmedix Masking brush to apply it.  The smooth side not the textured one.  I was actually impressed by how little I actually needed to use to cover my entire face.  While the top photo showing the product in the jar shows it untouched, the photo with the masking brush shows the mask after a week of use. I think that if I were to use this mask every week three times a week it would last at least two months.  It is a lot of product in the jar and not a lot is needed on the face.

Once applied,  I could feel the clay start to dry and tighten.  It felt cool on my skin but not tingly and the longer I used it the cooler my face seemed to feel for some reason.  I can see that eing a big advantage in the summer time.  As with most clay masks once it started drying changes in facial expressions were difficult, hence the stuck in place face I am making in the photos. 

The surfacing of the clogged pores. It may not look the prettiest but it is exactly what needs to happen to get them cleared away.

In fifteen minutes all but the oiliest parts of my face tried down.  If you ever want to find out where the oily parts of your face are, this and most, clay masks will help you out. 

After fifteen minutes I used a soft bristled brush to wet down the mask so it could be rinsed off.  It is a clay mask so it didn’t magically slide off the skin but it wasn’t difficult to remove. I’ve had clay masks that were much more difficult. This was relatively easy.

After my initial use I patted my face dry with a towel.  My skin felt soft, but I’ll admit I didn’t see much difference.  Then about ten minutes after I rinsed the mask off I went back into the bathroom and looked at the sink.  I was amazed by how many of my deeply buried clogged pores were brought to the surface.  It wasn’t a very pretty sight, but it is an effective mask. 

Luckily I didn’t have anywhere I really needed to go, so pulling all of those clogged pores to the surface so they could be cleared away was fine.  It was also the reason I didn’t test the mask when I had a bunch of video calls. 

I was very impressed with the way it worked with my skin.  The second time I used the mask didn’t look much different, but the blemishes that surface dried out faster and the second round brought more of the buried clog pores to the surface. Today I am doing something a little bit different.

Spot treatment

As I put the mask on and get ready for my fifteen minutes of calm, I am spot masking.  Instead of using the mask all over my face – because not all of my face needs a good clear out – I am putting the mask in the areas that need the most help.  For me that is along the lower orbital bone and on my chin.  I have always had issues with the area along my lower orbital bone breaking out.  The chin hadn’t really given me trouble since highschool, however with Face Masks in use when I leave the house, this has become one of my problem areas for clogged pores. 

Sure it looks a little strange to just mask in those places, but for me that is the best benefit. On the parts of my skin that don’t tend to get clogged pores, the second application of the mask was a little drying.   I can see myself using this as a full face mask once a month (or after a series of rich and heavy meals) to give my skin a full deep down cleanse.  I could see myself using this more as a spot treatment about once a week, especially with face masks being part of my daily use for a while.  It is excellent for that sort of use.

I think that while I may use more moisturizing masks to cover my whole face, this will be a once a week spot treatment for those congested areas.  Not only will it keep the non-congested areas of my skin from drying out unnecessarily, it will really help with my areas of clogged pores and it will last a really long time with the once a month full treatment and the once a week spot treatment. It will greatly extend the length of time I can use the Cacao and Chamomile Clearing Clay Mask as well as use it to its best advantage on my skin. Oh and did I tell you one of the best parts?  This large jar of chocolate scented masking is only $24. How cool is that?

So the question as always is would I pick up this mask again? The answer is yes. It is a lot of product for a reasonable price and it does exactly what it says it is going to do in the description. It brought my clogged pores to the surface and helped to treat my blemishes. The Cacao and Chamomile Cleansing Clay mask is definitely a keeper.

I want to send a big thank you to Herbal Dynamics Beauty for sending the mask to me to try out. I really appreciate it, and this will be far from the last time you hear about this mask my darlings.  Me and my boatload of clogged pores agree on that.  Admittedly there are a lot fewer of them than there were at the beginning of the week.  Who knows, I might soon gain the upper hand.

And now me and my clay goatee and under eye patches are going to light some candles, play some tunes and lie back and relax for the next fifteen minutes. I’m thinking today might be another history podcast. It’s been a while since I have checked in on the Soap Opera that is the early Roman Empire.  That sounds like a fun way to relax. If I’m not mistaken I believe I’ve reached the age of Caligula.  Not exactly Zen but it is interesting. And since today’s candle is from the Paddywax Library collection and named after Edgar Allen Poe, perhaps zen isn’t the theme of the masking.  Besides with the under eye and chin masks on I am strangely reminded of Cardinal Richelieu. And that certainly isn’t zen.

But it is kind of fun.


Herbal Dynamics Beauty