It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of John Frieda hair products so I was very happy when the brand’s new Go Blonder Lemon Miracle masque (R115,95, Clicks) crossed my desk. Being someone who travels a lot, I really like that it’s packaged in a small, lightweight tube and not a clunky tub. Formulation-wise, it contains a blend of smoothing silicones and hydrating ingredients like lemon peel oil and cetearyl alcohol. (Relax! The latter is the fatty kind, not the drying type.) Despite its misleading name, Lemon Miracle WON’T lighten your hair but does promise to strengthen and protect it. Also, you really don’t have to be blonde to benefit.
From the very first use, I could tell we were going to be friends. It left my baby fine hair feeling super silky and easy to detangle while wet but didn’t make it feel heavy or lank while dry. The only real criticism I could make is that it doesn’t contain keratin or any other kind of protein, the number one thing you’d need if your hair was damaged. Still, it does a great job of rehydrating on the days when my hair feels droog from all the ‘strippy’ volumising shampoos I like to use or has taken a beating from my curling iron. I also like that it works super fast. I can literally slap it on, wash it off less than a minute later and the improvement it makes will be vast.
Like to dip your toes in before you go big? You could also consider John Frieda Miracle Drops Blonde Brightening hair mask (R40). It’s got the same texture and scent as the lemon miracle mask and a quick scan of the ingredients list reveals that they’re almost identical, formulation-wise. Having used both, I can’t tell the difference between them, results-wise. Both are fab and I’ll happily buy them again.
Moving on, let’s chat about Elizabeth Arden Vitamin C Ceramide Capsules Radiance Renewal serum (R599 for 30 capsules). When it comes to anti-ageing, antioxidant vitamin C is one of my favourite ingredients next to retinol as it brightens as well as stimulates the growth of collagen. Still, how well you can expect this to work depends on the type of vitamin C you’re using and Arden have used a very nice one – tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate. A relatively new form, it’s oil-soluble, so it can penetrate deeper into your skin and serve up the goods in a way that isn’t irritating. It’s a nice pick for anyone with sensitive skin who wants the big gun action of L-ascorbic acid but without the potential for irritation. The fact that it’s fragrance-free is another plus for the sensitive type.
It also contains hydrating ceramides and plant oils plus vitamin E that, when used together with vitamin C, can turbocharge its antioxidant power. I find I get enough serum out of one capsule that I can cover my face as well as my neck and chest. I like to use it on nights when my skin’s feeling a little dry. When I wake up, my face looks supple, rested and glowy. What’s not to love?
Speaking of glowy, I’ve also enjoyed using new Filorga Global-Repair Intensive Nutri-restorative Multi-revitalising serum (R1 495, Edgars). It’s developed for “mature” skins but there’s literally nothing stopping women in their 20s from using it. The idea that certain ingredients such as retinol should only be used by women who have deep wrinkles is ridiculous. Any good derm will tell you that the sooner you start using collagen-encouraging ingredients the better.
Formulation-wise, Filorga basically threw everything but the kitchen sink into this guy. Think retinol, vitamin C, niacinamide (a brill multi-tasker – google it!), hyaluronic acid (a great moisturiser, not an exfoliating acid), vitamin E, ceramides (also a moisturiser)… the works. Thing is, while you’re getting a bit of everything, it’s in very small amounts, so much so that fragrance is listed much higher up in the ingredients list than any of the aforementioned actives.
For this reason, I wouldn’t rely on it as a potent anti-ageing serum so much as a very luxe moisturiser – one I’ve enjoyed from a “look and feel” point of view. It’s got a light, silky texture that would make you think it contains lots of silicones, but it doesn’t. It literally glides onto your skin then contracts as it dries thanks to film-forming pullulan. (If you’re a fan of Clarins’ Beauty Flash Balm, something that also creates a subtle, temporary taught-ness, you’ll know what I mean.) Also, because it contains lots of gold, shimmery particles, it gives your skin an instant glow. All this makes it play beautifully under make-up as well as on its own. I’ve been reaching for it as a pick-me-up on days when I wake up feeling pale, drawn or hungover. So a lot. The silly season was intense!
See anything you’d like to try yourself?