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Starting January, I took part in my very first Instagram challenge, the #abnewyearstashchallenge. Purpose of the challenge was to round up everything from a skincare category, both open and unopened, to share short reviews and, of course, take toll of how much product was actually hidden in those dusty drawers of yours.
Safe to say, I learned a lot about myself („Hi, my Name is Anne and I have too many acids„) and about other peoples skincare routines.
One thing though left me a little confused: The difference between lotions, light creams, day creams, night creams and sleeping masks. Marketing aside, just judging by ingredients, a serum rich in emollients and humectants is no different to a lotion. Which, incidentally, is sometimes used to decribe something much heavier than my regular moisturizer aka day cream.
Case in point? The Asambeauty Vitamin E Skin Smoothing Serum *. It is called serum, but call it lotion and I wouldn´t disagree either.
Do you remember me gushing about how I wished I lived in a country where winter meant real snow? Like Switzerland?
To be honest, I have rarely been in Switzerland in the winter, but I have been there quite a lot in the summer. It is a great place for hiking, and the green grass, the mountains and the abundance of crystal clear water running down the cracks are a refreshing sight.
This crystal clear water is what plays an important role in the products of the Swiss skin care brand Instytutum. Not water taken directly form a mountain stream though, but water they filter five times to achieve the purest version possible. On top of that they do support a charity (Waves for Water) that provides water filters for communities without access to clean water.
Quite frankly, I am not sure if I personally need the water used in my skincare to be filtered five times, but I love companies that try to give back to those in need and I was excited to have the opportunity to test a few products from their range.
Now you have already seen the Instytutum Anti-Wrinkle Brightening Serum * mentioned in my February favorites, but today you are going to get the full information about ingredients, effects and my final verdict.
There was a time when I used to read much more than I do now. I would happily turn page after page, spending the whole weekend wrapped up in a story. These days are long gone, and even though I could blame that on the kids, fact is that if I spend only half the time I am on You Tube reading, I would go through multiple books a week.
The last time I actually read a lot was when we were road tripping through New Zealand (read here, here and here) and I had no wifi. Pathetic.
One of the books I read then was Memoirs of a Geisha (highly recommended), a classic turned into a movie. The description of their beauty rituals was captivating my makeup obsessed mind, mainly the sheer amount of stuff they would slather on their faces on a daily basis. Only the most diligent skincare could have prevented horrible breakouts.
So whenever I now read „Inspired by the Geishas skincare secrets“ I am all ears. And the last time that happened was with Odacité Green Tea Lemongrass Serum
I sometimes wonder if everybody would go as pumpkin-crazy as they do if it was a thing all year round.
Barely anyone even mentions pumpkin for the whole year and then, suddenly, announced by the falling leaves or, more likely, the Starbucks barista offering a „Pumpkin Spice Latte“, there is pumpkin everywhere.
In your soup, in your home fragrance, in your coffee, in your skincare…
Oh, wait. It is in your skincare all year round. At least in mine. And today, right after pumpkin season ended, I am sharing my thoughts on the Oskia Renaissance Brightlight Intense Pigmentation and Dark Spots Serum (PR-Sample) with you.
I have stated it on this blog before: I am a science nerd. And I do love potions. Not only as part of my daily skincare, but I grew up wanting to study alchemy after reading (too?) many fantasy books.
Alchemy, dear younger readers, is like „Potions Class“ in Harry Potter. Don’t get me wrong, I read and liked Harry Potter (without that disclaimer my following would have probably dropped by half tomorrow!), but my Fantasy socialization was already completed way before the first book was published. I think about „The Mists of Avalon“ druids before I think of Harry Potter, sorry.
But I am getting off track here. The point I wanted to make is that I love anything that comes with a dropper. And that hasn’t changed yet, despite 9 out of 10 droppers not working properly for me.
Sadly, the dropper on the pixi Hydrating Milky Serum (PR-Sample) is no exception.
Now I don’t own a cat, nor do I believe that cats are really killed by their curiosity.
But it makes a far more fetching title then: Why I never stick to my trusted products even though I know I might be disappointed and it isn’t the best for my bank balance.
I told you it isn’t a great blog post title. Sorry if you thought there´d be actual cats involved today.
What is involved though is a serum that claims to work with the „clock genes“ in our skin to help it repair during nighttime, for maximized results: The bareMinerals Active Cell Renewal Night Serum.
Which is exactly what my favorite serum, the Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair II (Review here), claims to do. I have stated there already that I don’t believe in cells regenerating by the clock, but I was curious nonetheless.
If you have been around for some time now, you know that I focus on ingredients when reviewing skincare more than I do on how something feels on my skin. That isn’t because I don’t care about the experience of applying stuff, I love a silky smooth texture as much as anyone else.
It is because I believe that if you have to rely on the claims a brand makes, you are just as likely to get great skin as you are to win the lottery. It may happen, but the odds are against you.
On top of that, if you know what ingredients you need, you will be able to discover gems where you usually stock up on groceries. For a bargain.
Like the Lacura face Hydro Mulit-Intensiv serum. Found at Aldi.
Did I tell you that my father owns a vineyard in the South of France? I know I did on Instagram, but I am not sure I mentioned it here. He has been into wine for as long as I can remember, collecting precious bottles, tasting different grapes and finally venturing into production himself.
Now I don’t like wine.
I don’t drink it. I know nothing about soils and grapes and stuff. I don’t even like the smell.
I was a huge disappointment to my father.
Until I found the one thing that can get me all excited about wine. Or the grapes at least.
The skincare benefits of course!
Resveratrol in particular. And against common belief in the blogosphere, there is more than the one brand everybody automatically thinks of when it comes to this antioxidant gem.
Let me introduce you to M. Asams Resveratrol Essence of Youth serum*.
Have you ever done a face scan showing you how much the sun has actually damaged your skin?
I haven´t, but I have read about it quite a lot. And even though I would most likely be petrified with horror when I see the results, I have never been one to hide from the truth. At least that is what I tell myself.
To be honest (should I say truthful, to stick with a theme here?) I know that the damage would be great, for I know I haven’t listened to my mother teaching me about the importance of sunscreen back in the days. Instead I tried anything to tan my NC 15 skin as quickly and deeply as possible. I believed in the whole „Red first, tanned later“ approach!
A little further north from where I live is the federal state of Thüringen. Somewhere there, legend has it, a mill exists, called the „Old wives mill“. If you have grown old and tired and want to be (and look) young again, you approach the mill, get thrown in at the top and leave at the bottom, all fresh and crisp. Rumor has it it doesn’t even hurt!
Is there a downside? Sure there is. Before entering the mill, you have to sign a list of all the follies you have done so far and promise to do each and every one again! Which is why the mill is sitting there, unused, as time goes by…