The £85 serum: Algenist Genius – Review

algenistserumWhilst scrolling through the internet for the next product to test for you guys I came across the Genius serum from San Franciscan clinical skincare brand, Algenist. At £85 for a 30ml bottle I knew this serum was not to be bought on a whim. After a lot of research I decided to take the plunge and purchase it.

The Genius serum claims to visibly reduce fine lines and wrinkles, reduce the appearance of age spots and reduce discoloration (my main skincare concern!).

Packaging: I really like the packaging for this product. It comes in a fully opaque pump meaning it is stable to light and air exposure. Having said that, you won’t know if you’ve run out of product, till you run out of product.

Formula: The formula of the serum is really what convinced me that I needed it in my life. The formula is based on silicones and the main actives are Alguronic acid, Microalgae oil and Vitamin C. Vitamin C in skincare products are my weak spot and this product has a high concentration of it! Alguronic acid is a patented compound which is said to be responsible for regeneration and protection of the microalgae cell. Microalgae oil contains oleic acid (an essentially fatty acid in the skin), phytosterols, tocopherols and tocotrienols which are essential nutrients for healthy skin. The formula also contains a plethora of cell-communicating ingredients for the regeneration and healing of hyperpigmented skin. Unfortunately, it does contain parfum and alcohol derivatives making it unsuitable for sensitive skin.

Application: A single pump of this product is enough for the whole face. The product comes out as a clear gel that feels cooling on the skin and absorbs very quickly. I didn’t find the product to be sticky or uncomfortable.

Long term results: I used this product every night for 3 months. Within the first few weeks I saw an overall improvement in the brightness of my skin. It looked a bit more plump and radiant which is what I usually get when using a new serum. After the first few weeks however I stopped seeing any further improvement in my skin. It didn’t improve the hyperpigmentation around my mouth and eyes nor did it fade dark spots.

All in all despite the amazing ingredients and overall positive reviews I’ve read, I’d say this serum was not worth the £85 price tag. Perhaps my skin isn’t mature enough to gain the full benefits from it, but I definitely will not be repurchasing it as I have gotten better results from cheaper serums that I’ve used in the past.

Have you tried this serum before? What is your  favourite serum? Comment below and let me know!

Jay x

Ole Henriksen Truth Serum Collagen Booster – Review

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Every time I see the magical words “Vitamin C” in a skin care product my heart jumps in excitement that this just may be the product that gets rid of my hyper-pigmentation.

Hyper-pigmentation for me comes in many unsightly forms. It appears after sun exposure mostly on my nose and forehead causing a patchy appearance in my skin that lasts years, scars that last months after a getting a spot and around my eyes and mouth (not sure why but a lot of darker skinned women  have this).

A very popular serum that I saw floating around the “Bloggersphere” was the Truth Serum Collagen Booster from Danish skincare brand Ole Henriksen. I bought a 15ml bottle from Feel Unique for £18 making it a lot cheaper than some of the high end serums I’ve purchased. Taken from the website:

“Like a daily vitamin for your face, this high powered vitamin C complex helps smooth out lines and wrinkles and prevents further damage. Loaded with antioxidants to fight off environmental aggressors and moisture-binding ingredients to keep your skin nourished and protected, Ole Henriksen truth serum collagen booster® is absorbed instantly and penetrates to the deeper layers of the skin to provide long term results. Sensitive skin prone to irritation will benefit immensely from the calming properties of this oil-free serum.

Ingredients: Ole Henriksen truth serum collagen booster® ingredient benefits:
– Grapefruit and orange extract: Purifying, astringent, brightening.
– Green tea extract: Protects against damage with antioxidants.
– Licorice extract: Evens out skin tone.
– Rosehips extract: Repairs and strengthens with concentrated vitamin C.
– Sodium hyaluronate: Binds moisture to the skin.
– Vitamin C: Calms, heals and strengthens collagen.
– Vitamin E: Heals, restores and nourishes.”

Packaging: Immediately upon receiving the product I was disappointed in the packaging. As this bottle is clear, any antioxidants, including my dear Vitamin C, will not remain stable with light exposure, the pump however is much better than serums that come with droppers.

Formula: This is a water based serum and contains a lot of Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Glycerin, Aloe extract, Hyaluronic acid and a bit of Dimethicone, along with many antioxidants. It’s also got Thioctic and Citric Acid making it slightly exfoliating. A massive downfall for this product is the fact that it has lots of irritating fragrance and colourants in the formula.

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Texture and fragrance: When I pumped the tinted orange product into my palm I was hit by an intense synthetic, sweet, orange fragrance which lingered for a few minutes after applying it onto my skin. The product left my skin feeling very tacky making it unsuitable for daytime use or for use under make-up. Three pumps of this product is enough for the whole face and neck.

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Effects: After the first night of using this product I immediately noticed my skin looked brighter. Over the course of a week I saw my skin looking clearer but by the end of the second week the forbidden happened, I got a massive cystic spot on my left cheek, an area where I NEVER get breakouts. I stopped using the product after this happened to give my skin a break but I was left with an unsightly scar after the spot disappeared. So I began using the product again. My skin tolerated it well until around 3 weeks later I got another massive painful cystic bump on my chin. I stopped using it again. I’ve since begun using the product again for 2 weeks now and I’ve still got that bump on my chin that isn’t going away.

So I’m left in a bit of a sticky situation. On one hand I have noticed an overall brightening effect on my skin, my hyper-pigmentation on my forehead has pretty much faded and I’m getting away with using a lot less foundation in that area but the darkness around my mouth still remains. Unfortunately you can’t use this product around the eyes which is one of my main problem areas so it doesn’t help me in that sense.

On the other hand this product has proven to cause cystic spots on my skin, which are not only painful to the touch but leaves more scars once they calm down. So with that being said, I’m coming to the end of the 15ml bottle and I’m doubtful as to whether I’m going to purchase it again, I just don’t think the painful spots are worth the overall brightening effect that I’m seeing. I’m sure that I can find an alternative Vitamin C product that will give me similar effects, without the nasty side effects.

Have you tried this product before? What were your thoughts? Comment below and let me know!

Until next time…

Jay x

Estée Lauder Perfectionist [CP + R] Serum – Review

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By now you guys must know I’m a serious skin care addict and I do a lot of research before purchasing anything for my skin. When I saw the ingredients in the Perfectionist [Correct Prevent + Repair] Serum from Estee Lauder I thought “woah I need to try this”. This product is aimed at all skin types and claims to lift sagging skin, reclaim suppleness of skin and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. I bought the 30ml version of this from Boots for £56, making it the most expensive serum I’ve purchased to date!

Taken from the Estee Lauder website:

“Our most effective wrinkle-fighting serum ever. It significantly reduces the appearance of lines and wrinkles, with exceptional speed. Supercharge your skin: Fast. Effective. With innovative CPR-75 Technology. Instantly, skin feels smooth, looks fresher, younger. 78% of women said it immediately smoothed the look of their lines and wrinkles.”

Packaging: This serum comes in a semi-opaque purple plastic container with a air-proof pump. I like that it has a pump so it isn’t exposed to air. However, the packaging should be completely opaque to maintain integrity of antioxidants.

Formula: This product contains a lot of Dimethicone so avoid if you’re sensitive to this ingredient. It contains a lot of anti-oxidant ingredients which are great at mopping up free radicals in the atmosphere that damage skin. This formula also contains fragrance (which I try to avoid as much as I can), so those with sensitive skin may like to avoid this.

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Texture and appearance: As soon as I pumped this product out into my hand I noticed the very thick silicone feel. It doesn’t spread easily on the skin even when it is warmed up in between my palms but it dries to a soft, velvety, powdery finish. This means it works really well as a primer for make-up and immediately fills in fine lines. It has a pleasant fragrance which disappears when applied to the skin.

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Long term benefits: I’ve been using this product for three months in the night time only and I have noticed that it has balanced my skin in terms of oiliness. I have also noticed an improvement in the texture of my skin. I can’t comment on whether it has improved sagging or changed deep lines because I don’t have either yet. One important thing to note is that this is not a hydrating serum, therefore I would only recommend it to those with slightly oilier skin.

Overall verdict: Overall this serum helped balance my skin, improved the skin texture and didn’t cause any breakouts but at the same time it didn’t give me that youthful glow I got when using the Advanced Night Repair from Estee Lauder. 30ml of the product will last around 4 months if used one a day so I suppose it’s okay value for money. Honestly, I don’t think I should have bought this product just yet as I’m only 25 and don’t have mature skin. If you have oily, mature skin then perhaps this could work really well for you like it has many others and it might be one I come back to in the future when I do require that lift from a serum.

Have any of you tried this serum before? I’d love to know your thoughts on it, please comment below and let me know 🙂

Jay x

Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Supplement Serum – Review

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For the past 10 weeks I have been testing Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Supplement as my daily night time serum. Taken from the Bobbi Brown website Intensive Skin supplement is “an advanced, multi-benefit serum that improves skin’s appearance as it helps prevent the visible signs of aging including dark spots and fine, dry lines. White Birch Extract reduces the look of fine, dry lines, while Grape Extract helps clarify and brighten the complexion. After just four weeks’ use, skin looks firmer, smoother, more even-toned and radiant.” I picked this bottle up from my local department store for £45 and have gotten around two thirds of the way through it in 10 weeks.

Packaging: This serum comes in a semi-opaque bronze bottle with a dropper on the top. I would have preferred if the bottle was fully opaque and there was less air exposure so that the anti-oxidants can remain more stable. However, I have to say I really like the way this bottle looks.

Formula: This serum is water based and contains a few silicones and glycerin which gives it a nice texture and leads to a plumping effect on the skin. Grape Extract is said to help even out skin tone and Vitamin C is an anti-oxidant (may not remain stable because of packaging), Castor oil is also present in this formula making it moisturising whilst not being comedogenic.  It is also fragrance-free making it suitable for sensitive skin. The formula is marketed for all skin types.

Texture and appearance: This serum is clear in appearance. The texture is very watery but once I pat it into the skin it becomes quite sticky. This absorbs in within seconds but leaves a sticky residue, which in my opinion makes it unsuitable for daytime.

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Effects: On the very first night of using this I woke up to more balanced skin, my oily T-zone was less oily and my cheeks were more hydrated. I also had a big red spot on my left cheekbone which disappeared within 2 days of using this and an overall reduction in redness. I’ve been using this only at nighttime only and my skin looks and feels plump and evenly toned. Together with my Paula’s Choice BHA liquid this has reduced the bumpy texture in my T-zone as well. If you have mature or dry skin however this may not be moisturising enough.

Having used this serum for a while now I can say that my skin looks more balanced and the serum has complimented the rest of my skin care routine. I know that this serum is one that I can go back to should my skin break out but I’m not sure I would necessarily purchase it again as it didn’t make me say “wow” unlike Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair.  I experienced balancing in my skin making it perfect for combination/ oily skin and an overall reduction in redness which also makes it suitable for sensitive skin. It is simple and effective skin care with some great ingredients which prevents ageing. Based on that I recommend it if you have troublesome combination-oily skin that is prone to breakouts.

Paula’s Choice Resist Ultra-Light Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum – Review

IMG_3247Paula’s Choice is one of my favourite skincare brands. I like Paula’ Choice because the ingredients they use in each product are all backed by science. Having a science background myself I can’t tell you how impressed I am to have found a company that actually consults and refers to scientific journals to choose what ingredients they should be including in their products.

Free radicals are present within the body as well as in the environment. They can damage protein structures in the skin like collagen through a process of oxidation. There are a number of foods which are high in antioxidants that can slow down this process and it is important to consume a good amount of this in your diet. However, it is also important for your skincare to contain some antioxidants to combat the free radicals in the atmosphere.

Resist Ultra-Light Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum is supposed to balance oily skin and prevent the signs of ageing whilst also reducing signs of redness. It is packed with antioxidants and hydrating ingredients to help fight environmental damage. I have been using this serum since December as my daytime serum under my moisturiser and I’m around two thirds of the way through finishing it, so a single tube should last 6 months if used once per day, 3 months if used twice. I bought this product online from the Paula’s Choice website for £30.

Packaging: The serum comes in a 30ml opaque tube with a nozzle tip, this allows the antioxidants to remain stable without light and air exposure.

Formula: This has a number of amazing ingredients in it. It’s built around water and silicone slip agents but contains a cocktail of 6 antioxidants including Vitamin C and E, cell communicating ingredients and Hyularonic Acid which is one of my favourite ingredients to hydrate the skin (the molecule holds 10x it’s weight in water!). It is also colour and fragrance free making it suitable for sensitive skin. It is aimed at combination to oily skin as it is a lightweight formula.

Texture and appearance: This serum is clear with a slight yellow tint. I use around a 5p coin size for my whole face by warming it up within my palms and patting it into the skin. It has a really slippery texture and absorbs into the skin within seconds. I LOVE that it is safe to use around the eye area!

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Feel: My skin is left feel really soft and smooth after this product has absorbed into the skin. There is no sticky residue and it actually makes a great make-up base. My skin also looks more plump immediately after applying this serum because it is very hydrating. I use this underneath my SPF moisturiser.

This is a holy grail daytime serum for me, for the nighttime I like to use something a little heavier and moisturising. This serum doesn’t exacerbate my oiliness and hasn’t caused any reactions or breakouts. It has kept my skin hydrated and I feel confident knowing that my skin is being protected from free-radical damage. If you’re just starting to think about preventative measures you can take to protect your skin from the environment then this serum is a great place to start.

Jay x

 

Lancome Advanced Genifique Youth Activating Concentrate – Review

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Taken from the Lancome website: “Want glowing skin in 7 days? Here’s your answer in a bottle. This innovative serum soaks into skin, targeting the 10 key signs of youth: texture, resiliency, elasticity, firmness, sagginess, fine lines, wrinkles, radiance, even skin tone, and clarity, with noticeable results in just 7 days. Advanced Génifique is the perfect first step after cleansing to reveal smoother, more radiant skin for all ages, ethnicities, and skin types. With an exclusive self-loading dropper, Génifique delivers the ideal dosage to bring back the light into your skin”.

I bought a 20ml bottle of this serum from Feel Unique for £29.00. I’ve been using this serum daily morning and night for two weeks now and I feel as though I have used the product long enough to give you my informed opinion on it.

Packaging : I like the packaging of this product, the glass bottle feels very luxurious and looks great on my vanity. The bottle comes with a dropper that dispenses just the right amount of serum for your face and neck. Because the bottle is made of glass it may make travelling with it difficult.

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Formulation: This serum has a couple of good ingredients in it like Sodium Hyaluronate (Hyaluronic Acid- skin moisturiser), Adenosine (helps defend skin against free radical damage by aiding antioxidants) and Ascorbyl Glucoside (Vitamin C). There are some bad ingredients in this product too. There is alcohol in this serum which for me is a major no-no in skin care. Citronellol (fragrance) and Parfum. These three ingredients have the potential to damage and irritate your skin if used over a long term period.

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Texture and appearance: The appearance of this serum is an almost clear liquid. The texture starts of like a normal serum but once you rub it between your palm it melts into a watery consistency. This means that it absorbs very quickly into the skin and feels very light with no sticky feeling afterwards. It has a very smooth finish which I suspect is due to the presence of Dimethicone in the formula.

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Smell: I can’t quite place my finger on the fragrance, it just has that “serum smell”. Either way there is added Parfum/Fragrance in this product making it unsuitable for sensitive skin. Not sure why Lancome added fragrance in this product as it serves no purpose!

Results: The first time I used this product I woke up with brighter skin overnight. However this brightening effect stopped after the first few days and it went back to looking dull. Unfortunately as this has such a light texture I didn’t feel it was hydrating enough. Furthermore it caused a small breakout on my left cheek and chin, I suspect this is due to the perfume or alcohol in the formula. I didn’t notice any plumping of the skin or improvement in fine lines.

Overall verdict: This serum gets a thumbs down from me I’m afraid. I’m trying to cut down on fragranced products as they can cause long term damage to the skin. Also the alcohol in the formula puts me off using it again. Whilst this did cause an immediate overall brightening effect there were no longer term effects that outweight the potential damage the bad ingredients could cause. I would say that the Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair trumps this serum by far.

Jay x

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II – Review

Hey folks, I bought this serum after much deliberation. Spending £49 on a skin care product was not an easy decision, but I’ve heard many good reviews on Advanced Night Repair and I wanted to give it a go myself. If you’re interested in buying this yourself the following review may help 🙂

Claims: Taken from the Estee Lauder website
• Lines and wrinkles look significantly reduced
• Skin feels smoother, hydrated, stronger.
• Skin looks younger, radiant, more translucent and even toned.
• Helps protect skin’s appearance against environmental damage.
• Helps reduce the look of past damage caused by every major environmental assault.
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Ingredients: This serum contains ChronoluxCB™ Technology, a peptide complex that tricks your skin cells into thinking they’re sleeping, which activates renewal mode. Hyularonic acid which is a great moisturiser.
Bottle: This serum comes in a dark brown semi-opaque bottle with a dropper attached to the cap. I presumed for such a high end product the bottle would be glass but it is in fact plastic and doesn’t feel as luxurious as I would have expected. I use around half a pump for my whole face.

Texture & Appearance: When dispensed out of the dropper the serum is a orange-tint gel. The serum is quite sticky at first but absorbs within seconds when you pat it into the skin.

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Smell: I can’t quite put my finger on the smell, I think it has a citrus fragrance, but this disappears once the product is absorbed.

Benefits: I didn’t notice a huge difference in my skin after the first use of this serum, but after 2-3 weeks I saw an improvement in hydration and slight improvement in firmness of the skin, complexion and radiance. Also the serum didn’t cause any breakouts.

Final verdict: This is the first high-end serum that I have tried and I am quite impressed. It improved the appearance of my skin slightly, but perhaps because I don’t have wrinkles to begin with I didn’t see a significant improvement. I’m not sure I would repurchase this just yet because I would still like to try some of the other best selling serums. This 30ml bottle lasted around 3 months with daily use so it works out to be quite expensive.

If you have any suggestions on what I should try out next please let me know below 🙂