Dropping the Purple Cabbage

They say that looks aren’t everything. Yet they are often what draws you in. This Serumkind Purple Cabbage Drop Serum is no excerption. Just look at it. The slim glass bottle, squared off instead of simply round, but with the corners rounded off. The purple serum that almost glows in the light. Through the serum you can make out the thin glass dropper.

It is a thing of beauty. And it is clear that someone spent some time thinking about the design. And it is a lovely design. It also matches the other products from the Serumkind line. I went on their website and they have a Youth Glow Serum that looks like orange, yellow and red dots glowing in the tube. All of the serums look sleek and beautiful in the packaging.

But as beautiful as it looks, it is ultimately what is inside that counts. So what is inside this $49 serum? Let’s look at the product page shall we?

“Soothe and replenish with purple cabbage.”

Purple cabbage from Jeju Island contains beta-glucan which helps bring radiance and breathes live into dull and malnourished skin. The high concentration of anthocyanin and lysine provides anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits.

Serumkind
INGREDIENTS: BRASSICA OLERACEA CAPITATA (CABBAGE) LEAF EXTRACT, GLYCERIN, AQUA/WATER/EAU, METHYLPROPANEDIOL, METHYL GLUCETH-20, BETAINE, HYDROXYETHYL ACRYLATE/SODIUM ACRYLOYLDIMETHYL TAURATE COPOLYMER, C12-14 PARETH-12, COCCINIA INDICA FRUIT EXTRACT, 1,2-HEXANEDIOL, ECLIPTA PROSTRATA EXTRACT, TREHALOSE, XANTHAN GUM, MELIA AZADIRACHTA LEAF EXTRACT, MELIA AZADIRACHTA FLOWER EXTRACT, ETHYLHEXYLGLYCERIN, SORBITAN ISOSTEARATE, BETA-GLUCAN, ALOE BARBADENSIS FLOWER EXTRACT, SOLANUM MELONGENA (EGGPLANT) FRUIT EXTRACT, OCIMUM SANCTUM LEAF EXTRACT, CORALLINA OFFICINALIS EXTRACT, CURCUMA LONGA (TURMERIC) ROOT EXTRACT, FRAGRANCE/PARFUM

※ Purple Cabbage Drop contains a very small amount (0.04%) of allergen-free fragrance to cover the raw material(Red Cabbage Extract) scent which can be unpleasant to some customers.

First off, I am very pleased to see that the ingredient the serum is named for is actually listed first. That’s right cabbage comes first. There is also a small, and admittedly childish part of me that finds it amusing that they dimmed the cabbage scent with allergen-free fragrance to cover the scent of cabbage. One of my favorite summer time meals is a spring roll salad which has both purple and Napa cabbage in it so I am familiar with the scent. Like most of the brassicas thee can be a somewhat sulfurous scent associated with them that is also associated with breaking wind. It is slight in the uncooked cabbage but I am childishly amused that they saw fit to remove it.

The scent of the purple cabbage drops is that of purple cabbage with the sulfurous bits removed. It is an oddly pleasant and fresh scent. Perhaps some of that is due to the added fragrance though. If so, it still seems like a natural and fresh scent. I was quite pleasantly surprised. The serum is thick and somewhat viscous when dispensed onto the hand. While it absorbed well onto the skin of the face, my hands felt somewhat sticky after applying the serum so I always washed my hands immediately after putting the serum to my face. Since I apply moisturizer over my serums and stickiness left by the serum on my face was neutralized.

In the past month of use the biggest issue I have had with this serum has been the pretty, pretty bottle. Or more precisely the long thin dropper in the pretty, pretty bottle. The thinness of the dropper stem, while delightful to look at, it too thin to adequately get the serum out of the bottle. And it is a problem that grows with each use.

At first the dropper picked up enough serum with each draw from the bottle for one use. This quickly ceased to be the case (as in less than a week). It was then a two or three dip procedure with the dropper to get enough serum out to apply it. The serum is simply too thick for the dropper.

the air bubbles now trapped in the serum

As the product level dropped it became harder to pick up the product. And each use of the serum and dropper combo introduced more air into the serum so that often you are getting more air bubbles than serum. I am concerned that mixing so much air with the serum is going to cause the serum to spoil more rapidly.

One thing I did find is that if you take the dropper out of the bottle completely, pinch the dropper shut making sure that all air is expelled from the dropper, then put it back in the tube, it will draw the product in. But it you squeeze it at all while it is in the bottle of product, it will just push more air into the product.

It is usable, it just requires a bit of thinking. And to be honest, I don’t do my best thinking in the morning. I tend to put on the coffee, then apply my skincare, which means I’m a bit slow. Even after I figured out that I needed to remove the dropper, expel all the air and then reinsert the dropper to get the serum, odds are I would have already stared stupidly at the air bubbles and lack of serum dispensed before I remembered. which just made it somewhat aggravating to use.

It did not help that in the past month I’ve been using this serum, I can’t point to a single beneficial thing on my face that I can attribute to this serum. My dark spots are the same shade. My skin does not look any brighter. The redness that might have been calmed, wasn’t and most of the nourishing seemed to come from the moisturizer I applied after. I tried leaving it off for a few days and thee was no noticeable difference. I wanted to like this serum. Partially i wanted to like it because it just looks stunning on my skincare shelf and because I could easily picture other items from the brand lined up with it. And in part I just like the thought of purple cabbage being used as skincare.

And if it had some impressive results then I would put up with the minor annoyance of the dropper. And the fact that it tries to make me think before I have had my coffee. But the results are minimal and the pretty bottle isn’t enough to triumph over the annoyance. Without distinctive results, to me this serum simply isn’t worth repurchasing. I will use it until it is gone, but I will not repurchase the Purple Cabbage Drops from Serumkind and I will have to think long and hard about whether or not I want to try another serum from the brand. Pretty may draw me in, but it isn’t enough to get me to stay.

Dr. Squatch Bow Chicka Wow Wow

Reviewing the L’Oreal Paris Midnight Serum

The L’oreal Paris Midnight Serum is a relatively new product. I was sent this bottle from Influenster to try out and review. With influenster I was asked to use the product for two weeks and then post a review on their site around the actual launch date of the product. Which I did. As it is a full sized bottle, I continued using it as part of my skin care. Now I have only a few uses left and will end up finishing the bottle either tonight or in the morning. Since it is such a new to the market product, I am going to post all of it’s details below and then I’ll get into my thoughts.

REVEAL MILLIONS OF NEW CELLS, VISIBLY YOUNGER SKIN. Age Perfect Cell Renewal Midnight Serum sets a new standard for luxury serums. In fact, WOMEN PREFER IT OVER THE #1 LUXURY NIGHT SERUM*. Formulated with an exclusive Antioxidant Recovery Complex, this powerhouse anti-aging serum works at night when skin reaches its peak of cell renewal. Millions of new cells are revealed for visibly smoother, more radiant and younger skin. EFFECTIVE FOR ALL SKIN TYPES & TONES, it is made without parabens or mineral oil, and is allergy tested – suitable for even sensitive skin.

WHAT IS AN ANTIOXIDANT RECOVERY COMPLEX? Our exclusive Antioxidant Recovery Complex helps boost skin’s renewal overnight by combining a powerful, L’Oréal patented antioxidant—derived from bitter orange—and Vitamin E to help reinforce skin’s barrier. This breakthrough serum replenishes skin’s antioxidant levels at night when it is most receptive to repair. Our formula also contains Hyaluronic Acid—a powerful hydrating ingredient that helps lock in moisture.

SMOOTH WRINKLES, FIRMER, MORE RADIANT SKIN: After 1 use, skin is refreshed and feels softer, smoother. In 1 week, skin appears brighter, more luminous and younger. Over time, wrinkles are smoothed, skin looks firmer and more radiant. Effective for all skin tones.

INDULGENT, LUXURIOUS FORMULA: Each drop of this lightweight serum provides intense hydration while leaving skin luxuriously soft to the touch. It absorbs quickly with a non-greasy, non-sticky finish and won’t clog pores.

CUSTOM DESIGNED, GLASS BOTTLE: With its sleek, modern design and gold finishes, this serum bottle was meticulously crafted to become an icon! Its beautifully etched glass provides an elevated look and uses recycled and recyclable glass material.

INGREDIENTS AQUA / WATER / EAU DIMETHICONE GLYCERIN ALCOHOL DENAT. PEG-8 DIPROPYLENE GLYCOL SACCHAROMYCES/XYLINUM/BLACK TEA FERMENT PROPYLENE GLYCOL POLYSILICONE-11 BIS-PEG-18 METHYL ETHER DIMETHYL SILANE TUBER AESTIVUM EXTRACT TUBER MELANOSPORUM EXTRACT ADENOSINE CAPRYLOYL SALICYLIC ACID NEOHESPERIDIN DIHYDROCHALCONE SODIUM HYALURONATE TRISODIUM ETHYLENEDIAMINE DISUCCINATE TOCOPHEROL OCTYLDODECANOL SQUALANE AMMONIUM POLYACRYLOYLDIMETHYL TAURATE BIOSACCHARIDE GUM-4 BIOTIN CAPRYLYL GLYCOL CITRIC ACID HYDROXYETHYLCELLULOSE PEG-20 METHYL GLUCOSE SESQUISTEARATE SODIUM CITRATE XANTHAN GUM BIS-PEG/PPG-16/16 PEG/PPG-16/16 DIMETHICONE CAPRYLIC/CAPRIC TRIGLYCERIDE BENZYL ALCOHOL HEXYL CINNAMAL HYDROXYCITRONELLAL CI 14700 / RED 4 CI 19140 / YELLOW 5 PENTAERYTHRITYL TETRA-DI-T-BUTYL HYDROXYHYDROCINNAMATE PHENOXYETHANOL POTASSIUM SORBATE SODIUM BENZOATE SODIUM SALICYLATE PARFUM / FRAGRANCE FIL CODE B264962/1

L’Oreal Paris

This serum retails for $43.99 and is available only at Walmart.

I had a very interesting time with this product. The bottle is lovely to look at and feels very lux. I really like that the bottle has ridges on it so that it doesn’t matter if your hands are still wet from washing your face, it won’t slip. The lines also make the bottle look a little more expensive, but they are also practical.

The colored class protects the product from light. There is a stopper at the top to limit air intrusion as well and the dropper works perfectly with the formula of the serum. In the paperwork that came with the bottle it recommended both morning and night time use for best results, which is what I did. The bottle lasted about two solid months with this sort of use. If only using at night, it would clearly last four months.

Personally I like knowing how much product there is in a container when trying to figure out if it is worth the purchase price. Of course the real factor in determining if a product is worth it’s price (whether it is $5 or $500) is if the product works.

For the first two weeks I used the product and really loved it. The scent was slightly edging into perfumy for me, but it was light and I was willing to ignore it based on how soft my skin felt. If you are sensitive to scent, this might not be for you. While it is a ‘skin care floral clean scent’ it is still a slightly perfume scent. It disappears after you apply it, but it is noticeable in the hand. I found it pleasant, but strong.

I will say that I agreed with the description in that after one use my skin felt softer and after a week, my skin did feel as though it was glowy. I didn’t really see much change in any of my fine lines, however it generally takes a month or so of steady use for a product to show actual results.

Skincare isn’t magic, it takes time to work.

However at the two week mark I had very high hopes. I loves the way my skin felt an looked while using the serum. Midway through week three I noticed a few drier patches on my skin. It wasn’t major drying, just small spots that looked a little dryer. As I applied my moisturizer after letting the serum sink in, the dry patches were quickly addressed.

They didn’t get any bigger, however I also didn’t see any reduction in the appearance of my fine lines. My skin still felt smooth and I attributed the dryness to the changing weather. We have had a rollercoaster of weather for the past few months and I figured that could be part of the cause.

Then I took a look at the ingredients list. Since the product was sent to me for review, I went ahead and tried it without looking over the ingredients because I didn’t want to bias myself. As I have no major allergies I can generally get away with doing that. If you have any sort of allergies, read the label first.

On eht ingredients list Dimethicone is listed pretty high up on the list. It is also listed pretty high up on the list for many of the primers I favor as they too make my skin feel soft. I am guessing that this is where part of the softness that I liked came from. While I clearly put this ingredient on my face a lot when using primers, I’m not so terribly keen to see it so far up on the label.

I’m also not too thrilled with the denatured alcohol featuring in the top ten ingredients either. It tends to dry my skin out the longer I use it. Paired with the salicylic acid that is also on the list, I think I know why I was getting a bit dried out. Murad and Peter Thomas Roth both make excellent cleansers featuring salicylic acid that I use when my skin starts breaking out. I actually have both of those cleansers in my skin care drawer on standby. They work well if I’ve spent too much of a week in a face mask and need to kind of dry out my skin a bit and tame down the break outs. They (pared with the Peace Out Acne Dots) work well, but I can only use them for a short period of time before they dry out my skin too much. So I will use them a day or two and then put them away for later. And that is mostly due to my skin type.

I think that the denatured alcohol which dries my skin out and the salicylic acid, which also dries my skin out were just too much. They hit the parts of my skin that are usually the driest. The moisturizer following right after took care of it though. In truth if the good ingredients like squalane had done wonders for my fine lines, I could have easily worked around the drying factor.

But it didn’t. I saw no real reduction in the fine lines.

I don’t mind paying $43.99 for a good serum. In fact i have spent a lot more on a good serum before and probably will again. There are also several L’Oreal Paris products I adore and in general, I like the brand. But given the dryness and the lack of fine line reduction, I don’t think this will be a repeat purchase for me. If I had oilier skin or even more acne prone skin, I could see this working a little bit better. It just isn’t for me.


Spring Into Clean Skin Campaign – Shop Curated Bundles

Ogee

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

Testing out the Balance Me Bakuchiol Smoothing Serum

Balance Me serum

I have to say when this Balance me Bakuchiol Smoothing Serum appeared in my beauty box, I was somewhat confused. (I can’t remember if it was a Glossy Box or a Look Fantastic Box).  I never heard of Bakuchiol before.  I had no idea what it was supposed to do or what I should expect.  Then the ingredient kept popping up in various places and it seemed like it was not as rare an ingredient as I thought.

While it isn’t talked about as much, mostly because wrapping your tongue around those syllables takes some practice, bakuchiol is an alternative to retinol.  While retinols do a lot of good things for your skin (work on removing fine lines, smoothing and plumping skin) They can also make you sun sensitive.  Retinols are the skin care that only comes out at night.

Like Vampires.

Except they don’t drain you and in fact plump you up.

Like an… anti-vampire.

Okay, so the metaphor isn’t perfect. Neither is retinol as the sun sensitivity can last in some cases even if you only use it at night.  Bakuchiol is supposed to have all of the skin care benefits without the sun sensitivity.

So let’s look at this Balance Me Bakuchiol Smoothing Serum specifically.  According to the product page…

Our natural plant-based retinol alternative without the side effect of sensitive and redness! Think radiance, improved texture, a reduction in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Our formula is enhanced with vital antioxidant, anti-pollution and anti-blue light protection.

Smooths, enhances collagen production, hydrates and provides vital antioxidant, anti-pollution and anti-blue light protection.

For all skin types, particularly dehydrated, dry, dull and pigmentation. Can be used when pregnant and breastfeeding.

All good things.  This is not the first Balance Me serum I have tried.  The last one was the Vitamin C serum.  While it worked well, it smelled exactly like the furniture polish, Lemon Pledge. I couldn’t get past the scent and so even though it worked well, I opted for another Vitamin C serum.

There was two weeks’ worth of product in my tube (it was not filled completely.)  I used it at night (while using other serums during the day).  While two week’s isn’t long enough to see a lot of results, my skin did drink up the serum and felt smoother to the touch.  It absorbed almost instantly leaving no greasy film behind. There was no fading of dark spots, and I have no way to test against pollution defense, but my skin felt very hydrated and the texture was definitely improved. I also experienced no sun sensitivity or any kind of issues really.  I think it I did continue using it I would probably see some pretty good results. It is quite frankly a very good serum.

However again I am stopped by the scent.  While its scent is not as strong as the Vitamin C serum, and doesn’t smell of Lemon Pledge Furniture polish (Incidentally this is nothing against Pledge.  They make a great furniture polish, I just don’t want to apply something that smells like it to my face.) It does however smell like some sort of industrial cleaner.  The notes are slightly more floral than citrusy but still the scent of it makes me think of newly cleaned bathrooms, not skin care.

The biggest problem is that even though the cream absorbs instantly, the scent lingers. And then it blends with everything else I apply, making everything smell like an industrial cleaner.

Again it isn’t a massively strong scent, and the product is actually really good on the skin. If you’ve had sun issues with retinol or are pregnant or breastfeeding and want to use a serum like this, I would say it is definitely one to look into. If you do not have issues with scent, then again, I would say this is a very good serum to try out.

It is a good serum. All of my skin likes it, my nose just vetoed it. I just don’t think I could get past the scent to use it every night. It is just that industrial cleaner scent. It is just too much for me.  I know that if I purchased a full sized tube, I would find reasons not to use it, just because of the scent.  (And yes there are some products I find excuses to use just because of the scent. It’s just the way I am built). So while the tube is now empty and journeying to my empties bin, I will not be repurchasing it.


If you are in the shopping mood, especially if you are into clean skincare, you might want to bounce on over to the Petit Vour site. They have a pretty large selection of Clean, vegan beauty items, ranging from skin care to makeup and their sale is 60% off with the code JOLLYSALE. I know you can find the B Kind Facial Scrub and the OSEA Cleanser on their site, both of which I highly recommend.

Testing out the Timeless Skincare Hyaluronic Acid + Vitamin C Serum

Timeless Skincare recently gifted me a set of products to try out and review.  While these were gifted to me the reviews are my own opinions. This is not a sponsored post. I’m sure you recall me mentioning the HA (Hyaluronic Acid) Spray that was also in the package they sent over.  I’ve been using it in my Weekly Makeup Bag for the last two weeks and absolutely loving it.  But as I like to give skin care a full thirty days where possible before I make a determination, it still has another two weeks of use before I give you my final thoughts. You can see my initial impressions post by clicking here if you would like.

The only reason I mention it is that the HA Spray is listed in the product description as a lighter version of the Hyaluronic Acid + Vitamin C Serum, which I’m reviewing today after a full thirty days of use.

So if you are looking at the ingredients list and thinking to yourself, wow that sounds familiar, then first of all congrats on paying attention to ingredients lists. Give yourself a gold star. Second, it is pretty much the same list.  The spray has cucumber extract added to it to give it the just from the spa scent (and cucumber extract benefits).  There are other scents with the spray as well, but as this is the serum review I’ll leave that for that post.

First let’s look at what the product claims and then we’ll get to the ingredients and my use. So first off…

Kick start your daily skin care routine with this essential serum. Vitamin C with its powerful antioxidants is the first line of defense for your skin as it brightens, clarifies and protects. Matrixyl 3000™ rebuilds collagen and firm skin, and Hyaluronic Acid pumps up the moisture levels. Your face appears luminous and bright, giving you that well rested, ‘just had a full night’s sleep’ effect. 

Recommended For All skin types, every day

Hyaluronic Acid + Vitamin C Serum is composed of a 5% concentration of Vitamin C, a 1.5% concentration of Matrixyl 3000™ with an added 1% concentration of Hyaluronic Acid. The combination of hyaluronic acid with the best vitamin c serum for oily skin provides a super hydra-boosting serum brightens skin with natural vitamins and essential anti-aging ingredients, while replenishing skin volume and smoothing fine lines and wrinkles

Apply 2-3 drops to fingertips and smooth evenly onto cleansed skin, preferably at night-time. For external use only. Sunscreen use recommended after application.

Timeless Promise: Paraben Free, Fragrance and Dye Free, Cruelty Free, More actives, less chemicals, Made in the USA

Ingredients

Water, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Aloe Barbadensis, Glycerin, Hyaluronic Acid, Matrixyl 3000™, Benzylalcohol, Dehydroacetic Acid.

Timeless Skincare

As the product is meant to hydrate I am not surprised water is the first ingredient on the list.  In fact, I would be pretty shocked if it wasn’t.  Most skincare products do have it as their first ingredient, which makes sense.  If a product is supposed to put moisture in the skin, it has to have moisture to give.

Magnesium ascorbyl phosphate is the vitamin C element that is mentioned in the description in case you are wondering why vitamin c isn’t plainly labeled on the ingredients list.  According to the Derm Store this is a form of Vitamin C that not only protects skin from free radicals and helps hydrate but it helps with hyper pigmentation and stimulates collagen. The link is actually to the Derm Stores full article which goes into much greater detail about this form of Vitamin C for those interested.  Personally, I think it is pretty interesting.

Aloe Barbadensis is essentially Aloe Vera.  I am a big fan of this.  It is an anti-inflammatory agent essentially.  I can personally attest to this.  Every house I lived in as a child had an aloe plant in it.  Sunburns, and non-sun burns, poison ivy, and any kind of itchy bite or skin inflammation saw a bit of the aloe plant snapped off and rubbed on the skin.  I was very glad this spring that I kept of the practice of keeping an aloe plant around when I got my massive sun burn this spring. It was icy cold and super soothing. My poor aloe plant is almost fully recovered from the ordeal. Needless to say I am very glad to see it in my skin care, especially since I have been spending so much time in the sun this summer.

Glycerin is a humectant, which essentially means it is what pulls the moisture into the skin and kind of locks it down.  It is pretty common in a lot of moisturizing products and kind of expected. The Hyaluronic Acid is also expected since this is a hyaluronic acid based product.  HA reduces fine lines and causes the skin to retain moisture, essentially plumping the skin to do away with fine lines.  It is not an acid as in evil villain slowly lowering you into a bubbling vat while spilling all of the details of his nefarious plot sort of acid.

As the TM by the term in the ingredients list implies the Matryxl 3000 is a proprietary substance but here is the simple break down of what the  Timeless Skin care Site had to say about it…

Matrixyl 3000 is an ultimate collagen booster derived synthetically and comprised of two skin active peptides, palmitoyl oligopeptide and palmitoyl-tetrapeptide-7. These two active ingredients stimulate the skin and work with the skin to enhance its natural anti-aging properties.

Timeless Blog Article

If you click on the site link it will take you to a more fulsome discussion of this ingredient, but the above is essentially the summation.

This leads us to the last two listed ingredients: Benzylalcohol, Dehydroacetic Acid. Benzylalcohol is a preservative designed to kill microbes and Dehydroacetic Acid is a non-toxic ingredient used as a fungicide and bactericide.  It’s job is to prevent the growth of microorganisms. So essentially these last two ingredients keep the product from spoiling and from mold and microbes from growing inside the product.  I am okay with that. I prefer all my skin care to not go rancid on me. 

Five drops of the product in hand

And that is it for ingredients.  There are eight of them.  Two designed to prevent spoilage and the rest to do the job for which the serum was designed. Overall not a bad list.  I have used quite a few products where breaking down every ingredient (even in the short non-scientific way I did here) would not be possible. I really like that no extras were added just to be added.

The serum comes in a blue glass bottle with a glass dropper. Despite the fact that the Hyaluronic Acid +Vitamin C Serum only costs $20.95, it feels super lux in the hand.  The glass is nice in the hand and the dropper is well made.  With glass bottles like this I have a love hate relationship with the color of the bottle.  I love that it is a solid color that prevents light from getting in and ruining the product, but I hate not knowing how much I used. The product is clear and odorless.  If you have a problem with scent in your skin care then you will be thrilled with this.  There is absolutely no scent to it.

Now while the website says it is ideally used in the evenings, the box it came in suggested morning and evening use.  So I used it in the morning and in the evening. I know that sun sensitivity with some serums can be an issue, but I didn’t have any sort of problems with it.  That being said, when I go outside I have SPF 50 sunscreen (courtesy of my Volition sunscreen) on my face and as extra security I have been topping all of my skin (arms, legs, and face) with a spray sunscreen (Neutrogena Beach Defense) in SPF 30.  So the sunscreen may have something to do with the non-reaction in the sun.

But I’m not giving up my sunscreen to check.   

I try not to deliberately try for skin damage.

The recommended usage is three to four drops.  I generally found that three covered my face perfectly well, my skin sucking the serum in almost immediately upon contact.

Seriously, it disappeared like magic. 

Since I like to bring my serums down my neck and onto my upper chest, I used five drops and it covered everything beautifully.  This is a serum you are going to want to dispense in your hand and then apply to the face.  If you try to use a cotton round, or any other cloth applicator, it will absorb into the cloth and you will just sort of lose the product.  Definitely apply it with your hands.  Any product that doesn’t go into your face will sink into your hands.  Which is not a bad thing.  Even in a glancing application, the serum has actually smoothed out a lot of my gardening based rough spots on my hands. I know that isn’t its intent, but it isn’t a bad side effect.  

I did take before and after photos of my face in an effort to see the difference thirty days made.  I know the difference is slight in only a month, but I did notice a smoothing out of my skin in the mouth and eye area.  I even noticed a slight reduction in what I like to call my stress crack – the line across the center of my forehead. It isn’t shrunk to nothing (I doubt very much that anything would completely erase it) but it hasn’t gotten bigger and it is a little less noticeable. The hyperpigmentation on my forehead is slightly lighter.

The differences I’ve noticed are really kind of hard to see in a photo. For one, my skin feels less dry.  As I am walking more instead of going to the gym, I am spending more time outside.  Between the walking and the gardening, the sun takes its toll.  While using this serum I’ve had to use less moisturizer to keep the sun dryness at bay. and I have been noticing a lot less clogged pores lately.

Don’t get me wrong, I think somehow I also assembled a crack team of products for this round of testing as in the past month a lot of my skin issues have cleared up. While this serum isn’t solely responsible for my skin’s improvement, it was a really big help.  The dark spots left by acne scarring haven’t really diminished so dealing with skin discoloration due to scarring may not be this serum’s strong suit despite the vitamin c, but it is excellent with retaining moisture and plumping up fine lines.  So two out of three isn’t bad.

I do have a second serum that was sent to me by Timeless Skincare.  It is the 20% Vitamin C + E and Ferulic Acid.  It is designed more for the pigmentation so I will be giving it a go.  In my month long trial using it morning and evening, I used up about half of the 1oz bottle of HA serum that was sent to me. I am going to switch to using it just in the evenings (which should give me another two months of testing with the serum, plus I don’t want the left over to go to waste and I really enjoyed using it so have no problem whatsoever in using every drop). 

I am going to then test the more heavily vitamin C serum during the day and see if that works better on my hyperpigmentation.  I have high hopes that the combination of the two serums will do well with my skin. Of course I won’t know until I try.  Which I will do starting tomorrow morning. 

Until then, I have to say I have really enjoyed this serum and am very glad Timeless Skincare sent it over to me to test out and review.  It is a serum I will be purchasing on my own in the future. I may even have to look into ther DIY Beauty Box in the near future as well. Thus far I am enjoying the products I’ve used well enough that rying out more from this brand seems like a really good idea.

Testing out the Decorte Moisture Liposome Serum

The 9 mL / 0.3 FL oz sample size of the Decorte Serum

This serum came in one of my Glossy Boxes a few months back and I was very happy to finally work it into my skin care regime.  The sample size was small, but it did last for almost two weeks.  I was about three days shy.  While most skin care requires about thirty days to actually show results, I generally find that in two weeks I can figure out if it works well enough with my skin to bother trying a full sized version.   (In case you are wondering that’s why there are no before and after results pictured).

Moisture Liposome. Pure perfection, supreme moisture.

Now I have tried a small foil packet of this serum before and I liked that tiny sample enough to do the skin care happy dance when I saw Glossy Box included this sample in my monthly beauty box. Especially since it is a fairly pricey serum. There are three sizes; 2 fl. oz. / 60 mL for $125, 1.3 fl. oz. / 40 mL for $95, and .67 fl. oz. / 20 mL for $50.  So you can see why I wanted to try out a larger sample before committing to a full sized version. Incidentally, the sample size included in my Glossy box was 0.3 FL oz./9mL.

So what is a liposome serum and what is it supposed to do?

Well according to the product page…

You can change the destiny of your skin.

That’s the philosophy behind Moisture Liposome. The most essential factor for strong, beautiful and healthy skin is care that supplies and maintains high-quality, continuous moisture to keep skin in a prime condition – resistant to dryness, roughness, and other troubles.

A lightweight, super-moisturizing serum, Moisture Liposome, with Liposome Technology™, effortlessly becomes one with skin to promote a smooth, healthy, and radiant condition. Highly compatible with skin, multilayered capsules measuring just 0.1 to 0.2 micrometers composed of biomimetic phospholipid bilayers are time-released to infuse skin with lasting, all-day hydration; improving skin’s texture, firmness and translucence. Works in synergy with skin while enhancing the absorption of subsequent skincare products that follow.

INGREDIENTS:WATER/AQUA/EAU, BUTYLENE GLYCOL, GLYCERIN, HYDROGENATED LECITHIN, ACETYL GLUTAMINE, BETULA ALBA BARK EXTRACT, CHIMAPHILA UMBELLATA LEAF EXTRACT, CITRUS MEDICA LIMONUM (LEMON) FRUIT EXTRACT, EQUISETUM ARVENSE EXTRACT, HUMULUS LUPULUS (HOPS) EXTRACT, PINUS SYLVESTRIS CONE EXTRACT, ROSMARINUS OFFICINALIS (ROSEMARY) LEAF EXTRACT, SODIUM HYALURONATE, SODIUM PCA, TOCOPHEROL, BENZOPHENONE-5, CARBOMER, CHOLESTEROL, ETHYLHEXYL METHOXYCINNAMATE, SODIUM HYDROXIDE, XANTHAN GUM, METHYLPARABEN, PHENOXYETHANOL, FRAGRANCE (PARFUM)

decorte.com

First off, I need to say something about the packaging.  When you screw off the cap, it looks like there is just a big hole in the top that product is going to come pouring out of.  It doesn’t.  It’s the kind of stopper where the product doesn’t come out until the bottle is squeezed.  Personally, I like that as I am often working with wet or damp hands during my skin care routine (if not cream coated) so I occasionally drop things into the sink.  (Rip Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder). I’ll admit, I did drop this and not a drop spilled because of the bottles design.  

I know, not the point of the review, but an excellent design feature.

When squeezed, the bottle dispenses a little dot of product into the hand.  The small amount is exactly what was needed to cover my face and neck.  Any more, was too much.  It is not a liquid, but it isn’t really a solid cream either.  It is like a gel or water cream in consistency. There was almost no scent to the product at all. 

Most of the time when I tried to smell the serum I just smelled the remains of my cleanser on my skin and not the actual serum.  So even though there is fragrance listed as the final ingredient in the ingredients list, it is not a noticeable addition. Unless the fragrance added is there to nullify the scents of the other ingredients, in that case well done. If you have issues with scent in skin care, this serum is not going to be a problem for you. 

It is very hydrating.  Seriously, one of the reasons that a little is enough is that more just takes longer to absorb so you are waiting forever and feeling like you are wasting product. The extra will absorb with no problem, it just takes longer. My skin tends to be normal leaning towards oily in the summer so a small amount was fine for me, but even adding too much didn’t make my skin go greasy, it just took longer to absorb. If you are a little more on the dry end of the spectrum, you may have to use a little more product, but I think it could work for you as well. It seemed like a very versatile formula.

I have to say, my skin soaked it up.  On days where I spent too much time in the sun, this was an amazing product to use fight after washing my face.  While I liked it now because it never made me greasy, I think I would like it even more in the winter time when my skin is dryer and dealing with central heating. 

I never noticed the micrometer sized capsules talked of in the description, but then without a microscope why would I? 

I will say that it kept my skin hydrated and soft.  While I can’t prove that it helped other skin care elements in any way, I can say that it did not react poorly to any other ingredients in my regime and while using it, the slightly dry patches around healing ‘mask-ne’ weren’t dry at all.  It also didn’t irritate any of my break outs either. It just quietly and inoffensively hydrated my skin. Which is all it was really asked to do.

But now the big question, would I actually purchase this product?

To be honest, I would definitely pick up the smallest $50 size to try for a full long trial. Because of the two week trial, I know my skin reacts well to the serum, but quite frankly I didn’t use it long enough to be able to see actual results. And if I’m going to spend $125 on a product, I want to know that I’m going to show some results. I would pick up the 20 mL size because it would give me enough product for a full thirty day trial.  Whether or not I would spend the $125 for a 60 mL would depend on the full length trial.  I do know that Look Fantastic sells Decorte products and they pretty routinely have sales and discounts and I am always up for a good discount. 

Incidentally, Look Fantastic is about to begin their Labor Day sale it runs from 8/25 – 9/9. There is 22% off Sitewide with the code LABORDAY22. So now might not be a bad time to stock up on some products.

Given how well my skin reacted to the sample size though, I think I will be testing the Decorte Liposome Serum out this winter in a full sized trial.  I think I’m also going to look into more Japanese skin care because of this.  To be honest I know more about Korean skincare, mostly because there is so much of it around. Maybe I’ll be able to find a sample kit of Decorte products to try.  While I don’t know if they offer a sample pack for sale, I do know they also sell makeup and I always have a soft spot for skin care companies that also product makeup

Whether skin care or makeup, this liposome sample from my Glossy Box has gotten me more interested in the brand Decorte (and I suppose Japanese skin care in general) and I suspect once I’ve cleared out a little space in my skincare drawer, there will be a longer full sized test in store, at the very least. So apparently I have gone from foil packet, to sample sized, to planning a month long trial. Don’t you just love when that happens?


Liposome #1 Serum in Japan