Now I'm not calling you a criminal, but did you know that most of us are guilty of committing some sort of crime against our skin? Whether it be too much sun exposure, a hit and miss skincare regime, too much stress, too much partying, or those (endless) sleepless nights when you have small kids?
All of these things affect our skin negatively, causing it to look older than what we are. Yes, we all know by now that the way in which we live our lives shows up in our skin, our bodies and our minds but what changes can we make to re-dress the balance? Is it ever possible to bargain for a second chance? Thankfully, there are skin scientists working on our behalf to answer these questions! Vichy, the trusted French brand are pioneers of anti-ageing skincare technology and they have undertaken ten years of research to identify, and thus address the problems of skin ageing; both the unavoidable issues that present via the inevitable march of time, and then those that we inflict upon ourselves, knowingly or unknowingly. So, anyone willing to admit to their skin crimes? I am?
I admit to being a lover of the sun, I even used sunbeds in my twenties - I know, shame on me! I am also a working, single Mum to two little girls and this results in a lot of running around, very little sleep and then when I get a chance, I like to go out, which then obviously results in de-hydration. So, guilty as charged, I'm a skin-criminal.
And yes, as a beauty editor I should know better (I do, but it's harder to impose rules on yourself, right?) When I heard about the brand new and much anticipated Idealia Life Serum from Vichy, which promises to target the visible impact of your life on your skin, my interest was piqued. I love the idea that we may now have a form of forgiveness for crimes committed against our skin. I, for one, certainly need it! So here begins my eight-day blog on how I get along using the product and the story behind it.
Today I've been reading up on the (pretty impressive) background to Idealia Life Serum.? I have been a fan of the entire Idealia range since its launch, using both the moisturizer and the excellent BB cream frequently, but the science behind this serum really sets it apart from other products at this fabulous price point, and I think this may now become the ?Hero Product? within the range.
There are two key molecules contained in the product called LR2412 and another called LHA and they are the main players in this product's ?hero? status.
What? Yes, the names don't exactly roll off the tongue but when you hear that LR2412 is a derivative of Jasmonic acid, a powerful molecule that works to help your features appear more rested and your skin tone look fresh, and LHA, a derivative of salicylic acid that helps the skin to become more radiant, you'll be all ears, right? Right!
So today is my second day using Life Serum; I am using it, as I did yesterday, both morning and night, post-cleanse and pre-moisturiser.? The first two things I've noticed almost simultaneously were the lovely smell and the silky texture, both elements making it very pleasurable to use. The scent is very light - a delicate floral scent made up of green tea, jasmine and lily of the valley releases as it is massaged into the skin. Now, I know that scent isn't a prerequisite for ?good? skincare, and in fact is often avoided by ?worthy? ranges but I argue that it makes the experience a much nicer one, and one that happily becomes part of a daily ritual. I have quite sensitive skin and Life Serum is perfectly tolerable to me so there are no concerns there.
Now, to the texture? on application it feels silky and very easy to smooth over the skin but what's really important, to me anyway, is how it performs afterwards; does it leave a residue of sorts or instead become part of the skin? The latter, I am pleased to report! I could feel that the serum was leaving a protective layer on my face but no greasy, sticky film at all. In fact, my skin feels like satin, leaving both my moisturizer and my foundation to glide on.
And how do I look? Well I think I look quite good so far. My skin feels very well hydrated and there is a nice kick of radiance from the pearlescent particles that are present as a complexion booster.
This morning I had a good look in the mirror. I felt that I really wanted to assess the state of my skin in harsh daylight and face up to the reality of the ageing process on my skin so far. So, the facts are that I am 38 years old and I feel as though I have had every skin type that exists over my life. I used to be dry and sensitive, then in my late twenties I got adult acne and once that finally cleared up my skin became classically combination. Now, my skin has become fairly normal, but still sensitive. My unashamed love for the sun in my (foolish) younger years and then my two pregnancies have resulted in a marked change in my pigment levels; I am more freckly than I was before and I have some medium sized patches (or large freckles as I like to call them).
I think my skin is doing fairly well for its age; I am much more careful now with SPF and I do endeavor to look after it. Truth be told though, I am guilty of falling into bed without taking makeup off after a particularly busy day and I also enjoy going on a night out away from the kids!? Following a night out though, my skin feels very parched and the fine lines around my eyes are so much more noticeable. After studying the Idealia Life Serum literature where they talk about Behavioural Ageing, it became clear to me what that is; there is chronological ageing - where your skin essentially degrades according to your genetic makeup and its inevitable code and then there is behavioural ageing, which is the damage we do via living our lives, the small excesses we allow and skincare sins we commit. I know that when I get up after not taking off my makeup, that my skin is going to look older and that it needs some serious skincare TLC to get it back on track.
So, after my own skin assessment earlier, I smoothed on the serum and had another good look. The increased level of hydration is sublime and I swear my little pigment patches (increased after my recent holiday) look minimized. I know! It's only day three - I'm impressed.
I've been mulling over the concept of behavioural ageing since yesterday and realizing what powerful aggressors the components can be, especially when deployed against our skin in unity! I'm going to look at each of the four main areas over the next few days, now that I have been alerted to them I can certainly see their effects on my skin, I wonder if you can too?
So, one of the worst offenders for our skin are what is called environmental damage; pollution mainly. This causes that dull, grey look that skin can sometimes take on when it is deprived of good clean, oxygenated air. Now, lots of us live in (or near) polluted areas. Smog, car fumes and dust all contribute to the pollution of our skins? surface. You wouldn't really think about it as you're going about your day, would you? But it's there. Working against you.
So today I've noticed that my skin colour looks very good whilst using Life Serum. It has that healthy, baby pink tone that makes me feel very fresh. The serum does contain both rose and gold pigments to help refresh and optimize the skin tone ?it's an instant cosmetic effect but a really effective one. I'm also noticing that my skin feels much smoother today; little bumps I had appear dissipated - which is a pretty ideal result. And I'm only four days in to this trial. Happy so far!
Increased pigmentation is frequently the thing that people hate most about their skin. I know I have quite a lot now due to over-exposure to the sun and the effects of pregnancy and I would dearly like them to fade away! They are not terrible but something that would help to reduce the appearance of them would be very well received! We are all so much more savvy about skin protection these days, and we all wear higher factors when in the sun, but still a lot of people don't realize the importance of carrying on the high levels of SPF whilst at home - yes, even in our rubbish climate!
Life Serum helps to improve uneven skin tone and complexion colour. So over time it may help to fade areas that were looking out of balance. Today, I made the decision that I will carry on using this serum. I'm really happy with how soft and radiant my skin is looking despite a few recent busy days followed by late nights.? I've even had a few comments on how ?fresh? I'm looking!
Today I'm exhausted. My one year old is teething and we were up half the night, then we had ?one of those? mornings - the ones where everything takes forever, no-one can find their shoes and we're late out on to the school run which in turn makes me late for work. I find that on these kind of days, I'm always chasing my tail and what's worse is that I generally look wrecked while doing it. There's nothing more disheartening than when a friend/colleague/mother tells you, ?you look tired today?, is there? Also, because sometimes, you're not - it's just your skin suffering with the knock on effects of stress and fatigue. So, back to that behavioural ageing I was telling you about on day three: Vichy have recognized that it's the expressivity of our faces that is suffering when we're running on empty - we can look sad, we frown more, we hold our facial muscles differently, in a more downward fashion. So rather than looking perky and bright, we look flat and dull.
I definitely relate to that. My skin loses radiance and my eyes look tired. I am constantly trying out products to try to alleviate this in my skin and more often than not I resort to merely masking them and using illuminating makeup products to hide shadow and add glow.
So, on day six of my trial and being as exhausted as I am, I am practically giddy to report that I don't look as bad as I usually do! There is an obvious radiant look to my skin, whether it's thanks to those gorgeous pearly pigments, which are acting cosmetically to give me a boost or something else? frankly I don't care - something's working. (and no-one has said I look tired yet!)
Diet plays such a huge part in beauty, both inner and outer. I am on a mission lately to really refine and improve both my diet and fitness levels.? I find that once I eat good, clean food and reduce my caffeine, sugar and alcohol levels, I begin to feel fantastic - and look an awful lot better.
So many of us run around eating a quick breakfast, grabbing a coffee to keep us going, some sort of easy lunch and then another easy dinner - it's the scourge of the busy person - to never really savour, or even think about food too much.
But the thing is; this all shows in your skin. I, for one, certainly try to keep on top of my ?five a day? and I have a balanced diet overall but when I'm really busy? That goes out the window I must confess!
We have great goals but sometimes it's not always easy to stay on track with all of our good initiatives - we are human after all. Busy humans too! So a product that helps to fill in the gaps in my wanna-be but not-so healthy lifestyle is music to my ears. Life Serum can help the appearance of pore size and promote skin's radiance. It's a no-brainer really!
So here I am, eight days in to ?Lifeproofing? my skin with the Idealia Life Serum from Vichy and I must admit to being very happy. My skin does really feel improved. It is noticeably more hydrated and therefore looks better and feels younger. I feel that my skins? surface looks more refined and more rested somehow (and believe me, it's been a busy week - I don't feel very rested!). This process has been interesting for me because, even as a beauty editor, I know I don't always practice what I preach. I don't have the luxury of time to indulge my skin the way that I would like to, and I do run on empty most of the time, but over the last week I have become more mindful of my skin, how it really looks and more importantly - why it looks that way. I have been very pleasantly surprised by the effects of this serum and subsequently it's affect on me. I have certainly given more thought to my lifestyle and how to ?lifeproof? my routine on both a macro and micro level.
So, the realisation I've come to is that when I'm exhausted after a long work week on a Friday, followed by a night out and then an early morning with the kids, I don't only feel terrible? - I look it too. But will I ?behave? differently? No probably not! This is how my life goes, but the idea of a product that helps toward undoing all the bad that I do is pretty exciting and very welcome to me. And one I'm happy to embrace.
Can you give your skin a second chance? Yes, I think you can - so go on live a little!
Ellie trialled Vichy Idealia Life Serum on the invitation of Vichy