Category Archives: Skincare

Clinique Fresh Pressed 7-Day System with Pure Vitamin C 10%

Autumn and winter are incredibly charming and magical but when it comes to our skin, they aren’t that kind to us.

It’s quite unusual for me to review a skincare product only a week or two after using it but since Clinique Fresh Pressed System has two variants – a 7-day and a 4-week packs and I couldn’t justify the price of the bigger one, here I’m sharing my experience with the Vitamin C powder cleanser and booster duo.

I got the Clinique Fresh Pressed 7-Day System in the summer but started using it just a couple of weeks ago. I noticed that my skin got quite dull-looking, I’ve been going through a lot of stressful days lately, I’m still trying to tackle the clogged pores situation from July and overall, it’s just all been too much. So, I decided to try the system and I also stopped wearing makeup except for mascara and lip products. I do this for 7 to 10 days sometimes, it was recommended by a specialist and I feel like it helps a bit with my skin issues.

What I was hoping to see as a result from the Clinique Vitamin C pack was a brighter complexion, radiant-looking skin and just even-toned, healthier and smoother skin. I love the idea of keeping the ingredients fresh in their packaging, so I was quite intrigued by this concept.
It’s actually really simple to use, it’s a two-step system, I got 7 sachets of the Clinique Renewing Powder Cleanser with pure Vitamin C and one 7-day vial of Daily Booster with Pure Vitamin C 10%. The latter is still going strong because I use it only once a day, as I don’t want it to interfere with the Differin Gel I’m using in the evening.

I used the powder cleanser each morning by pouring it into a wet hand and then adding a bit more water to work it into lather. Then I massaged it over my face and left it on for about a minute so that the Vitamin C could fully unlock its potency. At the end I just rinsed it off.
It sounded a bit more complicated with the booster but it actually wasn’t. The only issue I had with it was that the cap wasn’t really stable, not sure if I got a bad one or it’s the same with all but the cap has a significant role. At the beginning, you should leave the cap on and remove the foil that is on top. Then it’s time to firmly press twice the inner bulb. You hear a sound which proves that the Vitamin C powder is released into the emulsion. You can’t see it but you feel it. After that you have to shake 15 seconds (you should do this before every use, as well) to combine the powder with the emulsion. Make sure you hold the cap, otherwise, it gets messy and you lose quite a bit of product. Then you remove the cap and mix 2 drops of the booster with your regular moisturiser and apply it morning and evening. Like I said, I use it only in the mornings and I’m still using it two weeks later. It’s suggested not to apply it on its own, as it’s a booster, so I wasn’t brave enough to use it without mixing it with my day cream, especially because of my skin problem at the moment.
The serum has a slight metallic scent but when I add it to my cream, together they smell like orange juice which was quite unexpected for me.

Vitamin C is an ingredient that easily oxidises when it’s exposed to air which can make it ineffective, so the idea of keeping it always fresh sounds great. With this packaging Clinique tries to take the freshly pressed juice concept and turn it into a delivery system of fresh Vitamin C for your skin.

I wasn’t really sure if I could see major difference in the way my skin looked and felt just a week after using a skincare product. The first couple of days didn’t show any changes and I was a bit disappointed. 7 days are simply not enough to see huge results. And I have to tell you, if you use products with Vitamin C regularly, you probably won’t see any results. But after my basic skincare routine in the last months and the hyperpigmentation I’ve been dealing with, I can say, I noticed a difference. 7 days after using the powder cleanser and now over two weeks after using the booster (there’s definitely a lot more product in the vial even if you’re using it twice a day) my hyperpigmentation has faded a lot quicker than it normally does. My skin looks brighter and radiant and I can see it because I’m not wearing any makeup at the moment.

The downside is that some areas of my face got pretty dry and I don’t really need another drying product, considering Differin has been enough for me already. I also can’t report anything on the smoothing and reducing lines front because the time is simply too short to be able to see lifting and firming effect.

Overall, I liked it because it made me look healthier, my skin looks brighter and more radiant now and this is what I needed. If you haven’t used Vitamin C on your skin, you’ll probably notice a difference after 7 days like I did. But if you love your Vitamin C serums (usually the concentration there is higher), I don’t think there will be any visible changes. Also, 7 days are simply not enough if you expect a smoothing, tightening and firming effect.

So, it all depends on what you’re looking for. I’m happy with how much brighter and healthier my skin is looking after using the Clinique Fresh Pressed 7-Day System but I wish it didn’t dry it out that much.
Have you tried the Clinique Fresh Pressed 7-Day System?

Advertisements

Vichy Slow Âge Fluid SPF25

In a world filled with stress, pollution, sun damage, bad diet our skin can suffer just as much as our health. That’s why sometimes we need to slow down.
When I noticed the Vichy Slow Âge Fluid SPF25 a few months ago, my attention was grabbed by the promises for healthy skin, protected from the everyday harmful factors. I really wanted to share with you the pros and cons for me because it’s quite a popular skincare item. I have to say, I’ve been mostly using it in the warmer months and that might be the reason for the negative side of my experience but I’ll continue testing out the fluid in the fall/winter.

I really like the idea of Vichy Slow Âge Fluid SPF25 and the way it’s expressed because it’s not presented as an anti-ageing product but as one that aims to prevent premature ageing. The concept is inspired by the “Slow Movement” and doing everything at the right pace in order to achieve the best results. When it comes to skincare, this will mean protecting the skin for the longer term well-being.

First of all, the packaging of the Vichy Slow Âge Fluid SPF25 is stunning. It comes in a weighty glass bottle (not travel-friendly but it’s beautiful) with a lovely colour theme and a pump, it’s so simple yet so pretty. The glass isn’t transparent, so you can’t really tell how much product you have left.

My decision to pick up the fluid was made by the fact that I have combination skin and this is supposed to be a lighter version of the cream from the line that is suitable for drier skin types. The products from the range are paraben-free and hypoallergenic. The fluid formula combines three naturally active ingredients and broad spectrum filters. The active ingredients are Baïcalin, Bifidus and Vichy Thermal Spa Water.
Baïcalin is a powerful antioxidant which has roots traced back to traditional Chinese medicine. In combination with Vitamin C, Vitamin E and the SPF 25, it works to slow down and correct the signs of ageing by protecting the skin against daily pollutants and aggressors. Sadly, Baïcalin is at the end of the ingredient list which means the concentration is very low. Bifidus is the ‘good’ bacteria, it’s probiotic-derived and helps strengthen the skin’s barrier function against factors that may weaken it such as stress, UV and pollution. The Vichy Thermal Spa Water is rich in 15 minerals and helps rebalance the skin’s pH and improves the overall quality of the skin.
The product is not fragrance-free, so have that in mind in case you have sensitive skin. Vichy Slow Âge Fluid‘s fragrance was developed to mimic the fresh volcanic force of the Vichy mineral water and nature in general.

When I first looked at the texture of the fluid, it seemed quite thick to me but once I applied it on my face, I noticed how milky and lightweight it actually was. It absorbs quickly and gives a nice glow to the skin, feels nourishing and hydrating and smells amazing. But then the downside appears. The radiance is replaced by shine because of my combination skin, the makeup doesn’t apply that well on top of it and even my long-wearing foundations don’t last that much if I’ve used the fluid underneath. That’s why I like using it on days when I have to apply my makeup really quickly using less than 5 products or with no makeup at all.

I don’t think I can say something about the anti-ageing properties just a couple of months after using the product but I have to admit, my skin does look a bit brighter and more even now.

I love the concept and how Vichy Slow Âge Fluid SPF25 mousturises the skin while providing sun protection and  if I wear just a bit of concealer and mascara, it’s all ok. However, if I want to use foundation, I need to apply another moisturiser underneath my base. That’s why I’d like to try it again once the weather gets colder, hoping that it won’t interfere with my makeup and my T-zone will look less shiny. Also, Baïcalin is the ingredient that is the base of the brand’s campaign for the range but the quantity of it in the formula is actually very small. I like the fluid, just I can’t say I love it or at least not yet.

Two Soap-Free Cleansing Gels for Oily/Combination Skin That Won’t Break the Bank

We might be approaching fall but those of us with oily/combination skin that is prone to imperfections know that it still reacts to the summer temperatures.

Everyone has individual preferences but when it comes to face washes, I try to use gentle ones that will calm my skin while purifying it. I use different types of cleansers and cleansing gels are some of my favourites in the summer because they feel lightweight and can be used as a morning cleanse or as a refreshing step in the evening routine. I never use them to take my makeup off because I leave this to creams and oils after I remove most of it with micellar water.

I’ve been loving the Avène Cleanance Cleansing Gel for Face and Body and Zdrave Acne Stop Cleansing Gel (Здраве Акне Стоп in Bulgarian) for the past few months, they’re both suitable for face and body and sometimes when I’m away for just a couple of days, I’d use them as body washes, as well.
These cleansing gels are designed for oily/combination and blemish-prone skin, they’re affordable, non-drying and they have some features in common but there are also differences.

Sadly, Zdrave Acne Stop Cleansing Gel is not available in many countries and when I got it, I didn’t have any expectations. I was even a bit sceptical but the ingredients list is great for such an affordable product. It contains Zinc PCA to moisturise the skin while regulating the sebum production, Niacinamide to improve the skin barrier performance and to minimise redness and hyperpigmentation, Salicylic Acid and Lactic Acid. Both of these acids are great for my skin, so that was the main reason why I picked up this cleanser and I don’t regret it even for a second. It doesn’t foam, it just slightly lathers, it feels gentle on the skin and leaves it purified without being stripped. The only downside I find is that the gel has fragrance and I wish it was fragrance-free although it doesn’t irritate my skin. The formula is paraben-free and I find that this product mattifies my skin a bit. I wouldn’t say this would be a real saviour if you suffer from severe acne but it’s a brilliant face wash for blemish-prone skin during those hot summer days.

I usually purchase about 5-6 of these 100 ml Avène Cleanance Cleansing Gel bottles, as they’re travel-friendly and I always get a huge discount when I order them. This is another face wash that calms my skin and doesn’t leave it feeling tight. Unfortunately, this is not a fragrance-free one either.
The key ingredients are Monolaurin that reduces excess oil, Zinc Gluconate that calms redness and irritation and Avène Thermal Spring Water to soothe, soften and calm the skin.
Avène Cleanance Cleansing Gel feels very refreshing, I love using it in the morning and works great paired with the brand’s thermal water spray.

Both of these cleansers are fantastic for my troubled skin at the moment, you may have noticed my pessimistic thoughts in some of my recent posts and I’m really glad I found these two cleansing gels. They don’t leave my skin squeaky clean, it’s cleansed but not dry, itchy or flaky. Both are soap-free but both have one downside, as well – they are not fragrance-free. For me, personally, it is not the biggest problem but if you have really sensitive skin, you should have that in mind.
I’d highly recommend checking these cleansers out if you have oily/combination skin and if you can find them. Avène should also have samples in case you don’t want to buy the full size straight away.

 

A Love-Hate Relationship | Bioderma Sébium Pore Refiner

French pharmacy brands are some of my favourites and I’m quite sad Bioderma is not available in Norway. So, when I have the chance to be near a Bioderma counter, I try to find different products that might be good for my skin.

The Bioderma Sébium Pore Refiner is a well-known product but I hadn’t tried it until a few months ago. My skin is combination and I have enlarged pores that no skincare product can tighten but I’m always up for testing out different ones.

After months of using Bioderma Sébium Pore Refiner, I can say I have mixed feelings. Like I said, nothing can shrink my pores, I didn’t have high hopes for that anyway, so I wasn’t that disappointed. The main expectation was to discover my new favourite mattifying primer. But when I use it on top of my moisturiser, my makeup just doesn’t sit well and my pores look even more prominent. The disaster is complete if I’ve used sunscreen beforehand and I even tried Bioderma sunscreens hoping that the two products would have better chance to work well when they’re from the same brand. I know many people use the Pore Refiner as a primer but it just doesn’t work for me and I’m not sure why. I tried different ways of applying it, different amount of the product, different skincare and makeup products before and after applying the Pore Refiner but it’s just not happening.

I also tried using it as a mattifying moisturiser and applying it before my regular moisturiser, as the brand suggests. This feels much better and even keeps me shine-free for a few hours. I can’t say it lasts all day but then again, nothing does, at least not on me. I will keep using it as a mattyfing moisturiser while summer’s still here but I don’t think I’d repurchase this product.

I absolutely love Bioderma and even products from the Sébium range, so I’m gutted to not be able to use this one as a primer. It would have been amazing in the summer.

If you’ve tried the Bioderma Sébium Pore Refiner, please share your thoughts and experience because I might be using it wrong and I’d be glad to hear more people’s opinion on it.

Origins Flower Fusion Sheet Masks

When I think of face masks, Origins is probably the first brand that comes to mind. Whether it is a purifying or hydrating mask, they just seem to get it right. Sheet masks are really popular at the moment and when I learned about the Origins Flower Fusion Sheet Masks release, I couldn’t wait to see them in stores.

The masks have been insipired by the naturally radiant beauty of florals and they aim to help providing an instant boost of radiance and dewy moisture. The masks are made of natural Bamboo which makes them very soft and are formulated with pure flower extracts and essential oils. They all smell lovely as you’d expect. There are 6 types in total: Jasmine, Lavender, Orange, Raspberry, Rose and Violet. I’ve tried 5 of them because Rose never seems to be available but I keep trying to get my hands on it. Each mask is sold separately in individual packaging.
It’s suggested to leave the masks on for about 10 minutes after cleansing and toning but I often turn them over after this and use them for 10 more. Then I’d massage in what’s left from the essence and continue with my evening moisturiser. I wouldn’t say they’re expensive at the price of 55 kr but they’re not the most affordable ones out there.

Origins Flower Fusion Rose Hydrating Sheet Mask
A rose infused sheet mask that hydrates the skin and is rich in Vitamin C to leave skin smooth and bright. Like I mentioned above, it’s the only one I haven’t tried yet.

Origins Flower Fusion Violet Nourishing Sheet Mask
A mask rich in antioxidant Vitamins A and C with a violet infusion that acts to hydrate, calm and brighten the skin. I feel like this is a very gentle one even for those of us with combination and problematic skin.

Origins Flower Fusion Jasmine Softening Sheet Mask
A jasmine infused and scented mask that soothes and hydrates the skin leaving it silky soft and smooth. To me, this mask is great for a weekly boost of hydration no matter what your skin type is.

Origins Flower Fusion Lavender Soothing Sheet Mask
A lovely relaxing and brightening mask. I find it’s great applying it before bed as the scent is very calming. Lavender is antiseptic, so this is a good one for those of you with sensitive or irritated skin, it also helps reduce redness.

Origins Flower Fusion Raspberry Refreshing Sheet Mask
This is my favourite mask when my skin gets a bit more oily in the hot days. It’s indeed refreshing and bursting with vitamins and antioxidants.

Origins Flower Fusion Orange Radiance-Boosting Sheet Mask
Zesty, awakening, refreshing… I used this mask for the first time before going to a concert in the evening and I got a beautiful healthy glow, my makeup applied really nicely afterwards and I felt great. The most brightening one of them all, this mask is perfect to use in the long winter days or when your complexion is a bit dull and you want to bring your skin back to life.

I honestly cannot say anything bad about these sheet masks, I actually love them because they’re a quick fix in some of my not so good skin days, they smell lovely and I can easily find them around me.