Almost exactly a year ago, I received a surprise package from a brand I never had heard of: Instytutum skincare.
Now I am always game for new stuff, and over the last year you have seen it featured multiple times here and in the skincare routines I do on Instagram. A brand focused video was way overdue!
Instytutum offers skincare made in Switzerland, was founded by a pharmacist named Dr. Natalia Derkach and is free from parabens, sulfates, mineral oil, artificial colorants and SLES/SLS.
Their water is filtered five times before used in the products and to emphasize the importance of clean water, they do support the „Waves for Water“ charity (website here) by donating all money made from their Alive Water Hydrating Soothing Face Mist.
This blog post contains *PR-Samples and affiliate links. Please see disclaimer.
In Germany there is a saying that indicates the impossibility of getting a reaction from someone. Roughly translated it means: “Like pinching an ox in the horn.”
I often think about this saying when I try to get a reaction from my husband regarding new lipsticks, nail polish choices or truly anything makeup related. In fact I was sure that no matter what I´d do, he´d always look at me and say: “Whatever.”
Turns out I was wrong! The pixi Glow O2 Oxygen mask * did provoke an immediate reaction:
I applied it, left the bath room and ran into Mr. Loca. He, used to my beauty shenanigans, looked at me in disbelief, shook his head and said: “Now you have completely lost your mind.”
Not the effect I was going for, I admit, but at least an instant reaction from a man that usually grunts when asked his opinion.
But which other effects did the pixi Glow O2 Oxygen mask * provide?
This blog post contains PR-Samples and affiliate links. Please see disclaimer.
A few days ago, I got chatting in the comments of another blog, discussing favorite cleansing balms.
Of course I had to mention Clinique Take the day off (Review) as my favorite. She said it was her least favorite. I wanted to know why, she wanted to know why and we both said: “Because it contains no fragrance.”
Which got me thinking. You see, fragrance in skincare is somewhere between “the devil” and “I could do without it” when you read reviews. And while I count myself to the latter category, I still want my products to have a pleasant scent.
Now I do use Sunday Riley Good genes, which smells absolutely foul, just for the sake of the amazing results, but many people won´t.
So am I being a hypocrite if I put fragrance in the “Unfavorable ingredients” category? Because I write it down, but secretly hope my products will miraculously smell nice anyway?
Jury is still out on that.
Until then let me talk to you about the Instytutum Triple Effect Peel *, which, you may have guessed it, contains fragrance.
Nothing beats a week or two away from the office, better yet away from home. Or, at best, out of the country, at the sea side, enjoying sand, sun and surf.
Have I told you that I did surf, many years ago, on the Australian shore? Not riding big waves surf though, more desperately trying to stay above the water surf, but still. I felt like a real surfer chick back then, sun burnt nose and salty hair included.
If I happened to have a sun burnt nose or salty hair these days, it is from trying to prevent my kids from drowning themselves in the Mediterranean Sea. Or from (im)patiently waiting for them to collect every single rock there is on the beach.
The effects, however, are the same. Whenever I return from a holiday, I feel my best and look my worst. My hair is brittle, my feet are cracked and my skin is parched. So to undo the summer sins of too much sun and wind and sea, I have a little pamper routine.
I like to think that I eat fairly healthy. Yes, I do have a sweet tooth and while having fruits is not an issue, I have to pay attention to not skip my leafy greens too often.
Replacing your carbs for greens isn´t a new trend, and I think everyone has at least tried things like Zoodles once. Admittedly they aren´t as bad as I thought they would be, just add a lot of pasta sauce and heaps of parmesan and you are good to go, but I don´t think I would go any further.
Like: Zoats. Finely grated zucchini in your morning oats.
Just take a moment to let that sink in.
See, if I have oats for breakfast, I already pat myself on the back for not having a pain au chocolat. There is no way I can stomach grating zucchini in the morning oats and topping it with some chia seeds and half an apple.
But you have to get your vitamins in, which is why I reach for my pixi Vitamin Wakeup Mist (*PR-Sample) every morning.
While I can easily make do with one bikini, one beach cover up and two pairs of shorts to see me through a three week holiday, I used to pack everything and the kitchen sink when it came to skincare.
You see, you never know when a special firming and brightening face mask will come in handy. And which serum your skin will crave exactly on day five.
And of course someone multi masking regularly needs at least four, better five different face mask options. A week.
Which never really was a problem, until I had kids. Suddenly the space in my suitcase dedicated to fancy glass jars and dropper bottles was taken over by diapers and stuffed animals and I had to start streamlining my skincare.
Have you ever been to the desert? And maybe wondered after a few hours spend in the dry heat how on earth anything could thrive here?
I happened to come across plants after a rare shower in the Israeli desert a few years back that looked way better than the ones at home on my window sill. To be honest, almost any plant looks better than mine at home do, as I am notoriously neglecting them, but for the dramatic effect let´s ignore that fact.
Back then I learned that these plants secret is Trehalose, the “sugar of life”. It forms a gel inside cells when they are dehydrated that keeps the cellular structure intact until rehydration is possible. Not only in desert plants, but possibly in human skin cells as well, minimizing the lethal effect dehydration and rehydration has on them. Which, translated, means less dry and flaky skin.
But even without that background information a product containing “sugar of life” would have had my undivided attention. I mean, sugar, hallo? Meet Qlabo Eauphoria *, named after the French “eau”, which means water, and euphoria.
When I say summer, I actually mean spring/ summer. Or even more precisely, the warmer months starting around April and lasting until end of September.
My skin is combination oily, aging and acne prone. Ever since I started using a prescription strength retinol a few times a week it can be dehydrated, but never dry. The t-zone gets pretty shiny throughout the day and I wear contacts, which means that my eyes can be sensitive when it comes to eye cream.
After letting you under my skin like that, prepare to be talked through my Morning Skincare Routine. Every single step. Read more
If you are a regular reader here, you will know that my skincare reviews require a lot of work. Not only do I try to be as detailed as possible in describing my experience, but I do research the ingredients and claims behind them as well. It helps a lot that I have access to medical databases, because, quite frankly, the „scientific“ claims on a brands website are ridiculous.
When starting my review on the DNA Eye Renewal, I already had an opinion on the cream and its claims to repair DNA, and I was in proper ranting mood. But then I did the research. The medical one. The one on the claim of topically applied DNA repairing enzymes. And guess what: They work. Scientifically proven, they do work in reducing the incidence of skin cancer while en passant undoing sun damage like wrinkles and hyper pigmentation.
But does that mean that I will urge you all to go out and buy the DNA Eye Renewal eye cream? Let´s see.
If you have been around for a little while now, you may have read my blogpost on „Pregnancy skincare“ (if not, here is the link) and remember that I claimed I´d not be introducing Vitamin A in my skincare until I finished breastfeeding and that I had never used it before.
Turns out I was wrong.
Because all my ingredient research aside, I had never considered that Rosehip Oil contains 0,4% retinoid acid, which is pretty much the stuff that retinyl palmitate is transferred into once it is applied to the skin.
Surprisingly enough, applying retinoid acid from rosehip oil is considered safe throughout pregnancy and breastfeeding, while retinyl palmitate isn’t. I guess that is because of most of the research these recommendations base on are focussing on orally taken Vitamin A in prescription strength.
But whatever the reason, I was pretty relieved when I learned it was, because I had been using my rosehip oil all throughout pregnancy. So relieved I even added a new product into my routine.
Ole Henriksen Pure Truth Youth Activation Oil, to be exact.