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 post contains *PR-Samples and affiliate links. For more info please read disclaimer.
In a world where science based blogs pop up right left and center, I want to draw attention to an aphorism that, albeit in different form, has been around for as long as 300 BCE:
“Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.”
Or, put more simple: Just because we don´t have proof that something works, that doesn´t mean that it doesn´t work. Maybe we just don´t have the research to back it up.
Especially in skin care, not all of the myriad ingredients have been put through the process of statistical and evidence based approval. Some just have been around forever, together with claims that may or may not be true.
So please do take the information I give you in this article with a pinch of salt. Just because some ingredients in the Skin 689 Firm Skin products *have not scientifically proven to firm the skin, that does not mean that they actually don´t. You have to see for yourself whether or not you think they might work for you.
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.
Have you ever met someone, got along really well and then, all of a sudden, they opened their mouth and said just one sentence that ruined everything?
I guess we all had that on a date, but it does happen absolutely everywhere.
To me it happened recently when reading a review. A review on the Omorovicza Cleansing Foam. The blog was a nice one, clean layout, structured approach, focus on the ingredients, and the more I read, the more I thought: Could that be one of my new blogging bffs? One to chat skincare on Twitter all night? Discuss ingredients? Recommend serums?
But then, last paragraph. The sentence that ruined everything: „Perfect for using in the shower – just apply and rinse with hot water.“
No flannel? In the shower? Hot Water? We would never get along! But maybe I got along with the Omorovicza Cleansing Foam? Read more
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
Even though I think I have picked up quite a bit of blogging lingo over the years, some things will forever be alien to me. Like the term “branding”. Sure, I know what it means, but the first thing that comes to my mind is a cow getting marked with a red hot iron. Which maybe isn´t that far from reality, now that I think about it.
Or “Instagram theme”. Luckily that is already so 2016, with lot´s of big names telling us how liberating it is to no longer have one. Good thing I never figured out what mine would be, or I would have dozens of rainbow picture probs going to waste now.
If I look at my feed though I can´t help but notice that there is some repetition going on in my pictures. Not in terms of probs (I don´t use any) or background (most of the time it is my bathroom wall), but in terms of the things I take pictures of.
Because, believe it or not, the majority of my pictures is skincare routines. The real ones, the ones that I actually did put on my face, and as I am a huge fan of thoroughly testing a product, you will see the same pots and pumps over and over again. Boring? Maybe.