Natural beauty and well-being

23 January 2014

My little skin healer: the S5 Purity Serum

Serums are real beauty essentials for me. Highly concentrated, these little face treats are designed to solve specific skin problems with a unique blend of expert ingredients.

S5 skincare certified organic cosmeceuticals comprises 5 ranges aimed at targeting blemishes, sensitivity, hyperpigmentation, wrinkles and extreme dryness using botanical extracts from the 5 most extreme ecosystems on the planet. The company was actually created by Laura Rudo and Violaine Bargues, the founders of another much loved beauty brand Evolve beauty.

I was generoulsy sent the product of my choice: the S5 Purity serum.

Product: S5 Purity serum
Certified: yes (Ecocert)
For: blemish prone/ oily skin
Texture: extra light gel
Price: £10 for 10ml

My opinion

S5 Purity serum is designed to soothe and purify blemish-prone skins. My skin is combination/normal type. A combination skin implies that the skin is a bit more oily and prone to irregularities on the T zone (chin, noise, forehead). Sticking to a good skincare routine and excellent diet is often what works best to have a beautiful skin. But I also do think that it is not always the case as genetic and hormonal factors play an important role in defining skin type/skin reactions. A serum can then be a great skin savior.

Perfectly textured purifying serum, boosted with Amazonian bioactives such as healing Andiroda seed oil, emollient and anti-oxidant rich Acai berry oil, S5 Purity serum clears the complexion while leaving the skin calmed. This super light beige gel/creme sinks immediately after application and I really like that. It features highly effective alpine plant extracts and does not contain mineral oil, parabens or synthetic fragances.
S5 serum contains black willow extract, which has anti-inflammatories properties and is rich in blemish fighting salicylic acid. Alpine willow extract, another key ingredient, soothes irritated and sore skin and help regulating sebum production. Last but not least, the balsam copaiba resin is antiseptic and acts a great skincare healer. What a great composition!

Once the face is cleansed, I delicately apply a couple of drops (but not more) of S5 Purity serum onto the needed areas. I have been using it, either in the morning or evening when certain areas of my face suffers from unbalance and little breakouts. I follow-up with my daily moisturiser or night cream/oil to ensure hydration and skin protection. My skin is left calmed, redness is reduced and blemishes keep at bay. I have only used this serum since one month (and only occasionally when needed) and so far I am really impressed! The only downside of this product for me is the smell... which is actually inexistant.

++ really clean composition
+ small (10ml) and bigger (30ml) version
- lack of scent

My overall rating: 8.5/10

Composition: Aloe barbadensis leaf juice*, Salix nigra Bark (Black willow bark) extract, Copaifera officinalis (Balsam copaiba) resin *, aqua, Lysolecithin, Sclerotium gum, Carapa guaianensis (Andiroba) seed oil, Euterpe oleracea (Acai berry) fruit oil*, Xanthan gum, Epolobium fleischeri (Alpine willow) extract*, Sodium dehydroacetate, pullulan, tocopherol, citric acic, sodium levulinate, sodium anisate, potassium sorbate.
*ingredients from organic farming

Get it here.

Have you tried the S5 Purity serum? If not, which serum are you using when your skin is misbehaving?

17 January 2014

Human+Kind all-in-one day and night cream

Winter is here and keeping skin really moisturised and radiant may be a challenge especially if you have a sensitive/dry skin.
While I have a few favorite moisturisers including this one, I like to discover other beauty ranges. A little while ago, I stumbled upon a very interesting irish beauty skincare brand via Twitter called Human+Kind. My first impression of the company was really good (friendly exchanges through Twitter), I was also quite intrigued by their products!

The motto of Human+Kind is really clear: simplify the beauty routine without compromising on quality. In other words, why using multiple beauty products (and spend more) while one Human+Kind cream could offer all what your skin needs?
And the answer to the question is below.

Product name: all-in-one day+night cream
Certified: no
For: all type of skin
Texture: cream
Price: €23.95 for 150ml

My opinion

I was generously sent the product of my choice: the All in one day and night cream.
The packaging is really lovely: original, bright and with a very engaging design. While it somehow looks slightly pharmaceutical/medecinal, I do think the glamour and the fun are not impaired.

Boosted with highly soothing Marshmallow extract and super healing Aloe vera, this cream is designed to deeply hydrate the skin and to prevent moisture loss. In addition, nourishing Vit E rich avocado oil and anti-ageing rosehip oil soothe any dry patches of skin out there and help to prevent the first signs of premature ageing. Enriched with Centella asiatica extract, well-known for its cell renewal and anti-inflammatory properties,  One in All day and night cream is what I call "un joli cocoon" for the skin!

I would mainly use this cream during cold days (and occasionnaly as a night cream) as the texture is rich yet not greasy. It really helps my skin to look soothed and plumped. Although very nice to apply, I am bit disappointed by the smell which is quite plain and not extraordinary.

As a beauty lover, I enjoyed using this moisturiser in my skincare routine but would lie if I would say that using only one cream is enough. I love my serums, my face oils, my other beauty stuff as I do think each of these goodies bring unique benefits to the skin. And personally I don't mind a more varied beauty routine that takes a little longer. I feel it makes the routine more personal too.
However, for those of you who are really looking to simplify their beauty habits, All-in One day and night cream is a very good choice. It combines good performance with great ingredients composition and all of that at a mid range price.

++ skin feels really hydrated
- so so scent 

My overal rating: 7.5/10

Composition: Aqua, caprylic/capric triglyceride, tricaprylin, Centella asiatica extract, cetearyl alcohol, glycerin, Persea gratissima (avocado oil), sodium stearoyl lactylate, sucrose stearate, Stellaria media (chickweed) extract, Althaea officinalis Leaf/root (marshmallow) extract, Rosa rubiginosa (rosehip) seed oil, tocopherol, dehydrocetic acid, bezyl alcohol, Juniperus communis (juniper berry) oil, Aloe barbadensis leaf juice, xanthan gum, linalool, limonene.

Do you know Human+Kind range? have you tried any of their products?

05 January 2014

Terre d'Oc Argan body butter

During a recent visit to the Centre of Lyon in France I stopped by in the very famous shop/chain called Nature and Decouvertes. There you can find great ranges of gifts, books,  skincare goodies, decorations, interior design, gardening stuff and all their products are either eco, green, organic or sustainable. Through their shops, Nature and Decouvertes want to raise awareness of the environnement protection and the benefits of going more green. You should definitely check it out when you happen to be in France!

I got myself a little present: Terre d'Oc argan body butter which belongs to the Argan Collection alongside with the hand cream, the pure Argan oil and the lip balm.

Certified: yes (Ecocert)
For: all skin type
Texture: creamy balm
Price: 10€ for 20g

My opinion

I was on the hunt for a nice beauty multi-tasker that could easily soothe rought hands, dry lips or irritated skin in general. Will this body butter make the perfect and quick SOS balm?
Enriched with sesame and sunflower oils, this balm really does its job well in nurturing and feeding any deshydrated/thirsty skin. Shea butter, one of my favorite ingredients, is a fabulous skin cocoon while argan oil regenerates and softens the skin. It also contains natural waxes such as Candelilla and Cera alba which are both very protective.

One ingredient could not escape me in the composition list, also because it is first in the list: olus or vegetable oil. Olus is a natural alternative to mineral oil. It is a mixture of triglycerides extracted from plant oils. Olus has great emollient property and acts as a good skin conditionning.

I also noticed that some of the oils (such as argan oil) used this butter have been hydrogenated. Hydrogenation is a heated control process which is used to change the texture of an oil to make more waxy. The emollient function is however maintained. As the structure of the oil is chemically modified throughout the process, I do think oils loose some key properties. You may have guessed that I have a strong preference for organic raw plant oils.

Terre d'Oc Argan body butter has wonderfully scented with Orange blossom flower. It really smells divine and I cannot get enough of it... The flower notes bring a very calming touch. I love it. However, it is not clear to me whether the scent is derived from natural essential oils or not.

I usually massage the balm onto my hands or dry body areas. It gently melts away and gives the skin a very protective layer. The texture is quite waxy I would say and is less oily than other balms I have tried. However, the softness is still there!

++ handy and affordable organic skin saviour balm
-- presence of refined plant oils rather than virgin oils
- uncertainty about the fragance origin

My overal rating: 7.5/10

Composition: Olus (vegetable oil), Sesamum indicum (sesame) seed oil*, Cera alba (beeswax), Butyrospermum sparkii (shea) butter*, hydrogenated Argana spinosa (argan) kernel oil**, hydrogenated vegetable oil, parfum (fragrance), Euphorbia cerifera (candelilla) wax, Helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil, tocopherol, benzyl alcohol, benzyl benzoate, benzyl cinnamate, geraniol, limonene, linalool
** transformed from organic ingredients

Have you tried Terre d'Oc body butter? what are your thoughts?
Visit their website here.
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