Nivea sent me their new Hyaluron Cellular Filler + Elasticity Re-Densifying range (it just rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it?) along with a bunch of balloons and NO CAKE. Who does that? What kind of friend sends you balloons with a big old box and when you open it, hands trembling with buttercream icing-anticipation you find… NO CAKE. My God!
Terribly upsetting press drop aside, I’ve found it in me to review the collection’s Bi-Phase Nourishing Oil Elixir (R289,99).
A regte hydra-bomb, it contains glycerin, three botanical oils (jojoba, avo and sweet almond) plus hyaluronic acid. The latter can attract and hold up to one thousand times its own weight in water, so it plumps fine lines like a boss. This covers the oil’s promise to ‘fill’ while the ‘elasticity’ bit is taken care of by the addition of creatine, something that’s been proven to stimulate collagen.
Despite being oily-combo, I often use facial oils, so I tried it a few times but just couldn’t get it to absorb on my skin. It kind of just sat around on the surface, even after a couple of hours so I gave it to my friend Sam who’s got a much drier skin type. Again, she said it didn’t fully absorb, but she doesn’t mind because she’s now using it as a sleep-in mask. When she wakes up, she says her face feels ‘more hydrated, comfy and supple’. She also likes the oil’s soft, pretty scent, saying it reminds her of baby shampoo.
Moving on, L’Oreal recently launched Smooth Sugars (R159,95, Clicks), a trio of facial exfoliators called Clear, Nourish and Glow.
Clear contains kiwi seeds and aims to ‘lift blackheads’, Glow contains grapeseed oil and promises to ‘boost radiance’ and Nourish contains cocoa butter to ‘soften and smooth’. In all fairness, all three claims can be applied to each scrub, so the one you choose will come down to what kind of texture you like. The kiwi one, Glow, is my least favourite as it just isn’t scrubby enough. I liked the cocoa butter one, Nourish, but find it quite oily which isn’t ideal for my combination skin. It does have lovely ‘glide’ though. It’s the kind of thing you could easily use on skin that isn’t damp, thus it’s been relegated to taking care of my chest.
Of all three, my ultimate fave is Glow. It’s exactly the right amount of ‘scrubby’ to do its job but isn’t so harsh that it makes me wonder if I’m not perhaps ripping up my face on a microscopic level. After rinsing, my skin feels baby soft and it’s a nice change from my usual go-to scrubs that are all in powder form. (For the record, Dermalogica Microfoliant when I’m rich and Sorbet Daily Skin Polish Powder when I’m poor.)
Last, but not least, let’s talk about REN Flash Defence anti-pollution mist (R540, selected Woolworths), launching 15 May. I’m about to embark on another several-month stint in the East and will be spending time in big, polluted cities like Kuala Lumpur, Manila and Bangkok. Snapping up an anti-pollution product was on my to-do list so the arrival of this li’l darling was kismet.
Ingredients-wise, it contains several interesting things you won’t find in too many other products. The first is wakame, an exotic kelp extract that’s been hailed as the next big thing in Japan. It’s a brilliant antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties plus the ability to inhibit an enzyme that diminishes your skin’s natural supply of hyaluronic acid.
The other is a type of fungus (the good kind!) that, according to its manufacturer, can improve radiance and smooth wrinkles while aiding your skin cell’s natural detoxification process. It also contains Japanese pagoda flower, another soothing antioxidant with brightening properties and a dash of lactic acid to help hydrate and gently exfoliate.
It lived on my desk at work for a bit and I really enjoyed spritzing it on throughout the day. It feels wonderfully refreshing and has a soft, floral scent from a 100-percent natural perfume that induces a moment of zen. (Deadlines? What deadlines?!) Later, I’d read up on it and discover it contains a sugar-derived gum that forms a microfilm on your skin which is how its antioxidant mix sticks to your skin. Happily, this isn’t noticeable at. I.e. it doesn’t feel sticky, it won’t mess with your makeup, nada. I could’ve been spritzing rosewater on my face and wouldn’t have been any the wiser. As far as anti-pollution shields go, REN’s created an absolute gem!