derma e Soothing Cleanser and Hydrating Serum review

derma e is a wonderful line for effective and affordable vegan and cruelty-free skin care products. I’ve been very impressed with the products they sent the BIZ to test and two of my favorites are the Soothing Cleanser and the Hydrating Serum.

derma e Soothing Cleanser

derma e Soothing Cleanser

derma e Soothing Cleanser

derma e Soothing Cleanser

The Soothing Cleanser ($15.50) is a very gentle way to remove makeup. There are no sulfates to dry out the skin, and it is pH balanced and great for sensitive skin. While this is billed as fragrance-free, I need to note that it does have a scent to it because of the Lemongrass and Chamomile extracts. However, it is a soft fragrance that shouldn’t bother most people. It leaves my skin cleansed, calm, and happy. It also helps to eliminate redness and irritation. derma e’s studies found these results:

• 85% of subjects reported reduced redness

• 92% of subjects reported less irritation

• 97% reported effective removal of makeup

• 95% reported soothed skin

• 95% reported soft skin

And as an added bonus, this cleanser is 100% vegan, cruelty-free, paraben-free, sulfate-free, mineral oil-free, lanolin-free, gluten-free, and GMO-free.

derma e Hydrating Serum

derma e Hydrating Serum

derma e Hydrating Serum

derma e Hydrating Serum

The Hydrating Serum ($29.50) is a wonderful creamy liquid that reduces the look of fine lines and wrinkles by plumping them right up. The Hyaluronic Acid in it attracts moisture and keeps it in the skin, and the antioxidant vitamin C fights free radicals and keeps skin looking healthy.I have been using one pump of this every morning and night for the past two months and I am really liking the results. Just like the Soothing Cleanser, the Hydrating Serum is 100% vegan, cruelty-free, paraben-free, sulfate-free, mineral oil-free, lanolin-free, gluten-free, and GMO-free.

There are several products from derma e that are big favorites of mine, like the Soothing Toner and the Overnight Peel. Now I have added the Soothing Cleanser and Hydrating Serum to my list of ‘must haves’ from derma e!  - Lisa

 *sent for editorial consideration

Healthy skin with Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cleanser and Toner

The Kiehl’s line has always fascinated me. The packaging is old-school pharmacy and the prices are extremely reasonable, especially for a line found in high-end department stores. The BIZ was sent two Kiehl’s products to test:  the Ultra Facial Cleanser (5 oz. tube is $19.50) and the Ultra Facial Toner (8.4 oz. bottle is $16). Both are terrific skin care products.

Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cleanser and Toner

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cleanser and Toner

The Ultra Facial Cleanser is a no-frills, no messing around water-soluble cleanser that does exactly what a great cleanser should do. It dissolves even the heaviest makeup without stripping the skin thanks to emollient ingredients like Squalane, Apricot Kernel Oil, Vitamin E, and Avocado Oil. This cleanser will work for even very sensitive skin and another great plus is that it’s fragrance-free.

Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cleanser and Toner

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cleanser and Toner

The Ultra Facial Cleanser foams up slightly as you use it and it’s a terrific cleanser to use with face cleansers like the Clarisonic and the Luna. This is one of Kiehl’s most popular products and it comes by its terrific reputation honestly!

Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cleanser

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cleanser

The Ultra Facial Toner surprised me a bit, because it’s a little more creamy and thick than the typical toner. It’s very emollient and does a great job of hydrating the skin and preparing it for other skin care products like serums, treatments, and moisturizers. Moisturizing ingredients include Squalane, Apricot Kernel Oil, and Avocado Oil. It also has the excellent antioxidant Vitamin E to help fight off free radicals.

Kiehl's Ultra Facial Toner

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Toner

The Ultra Facial Cleanser and Toner are my very first Kiehl’s products ever and I’m glad they were my introduction to the line! I recommend them both, but I definitely think the Ultra Facial Cleanser is a must have.  - Lisa

*sent for editorial consideration

Ultra Facial Cleanser Ingredients:  Water, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Decyl Glucoside, Glycerin, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate, Acrylate Copolymer, PEG-200 Hydrogenated Glyceryl Palmate, Lauryl Glucoside, Sodium Chloride, Pentylene Glycol, Triethanolamine, Phenoxyethanol, PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Distearyl Ether, Behenyl Alcohol, Methylparaben, Laureth-2, Citric Acid, Disodium EDTA, Propylparaben, Polyaminopropyl Biguanide, Sodium Methylparaben, Squalane, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil, Tocopherol, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil

Ultra Facial Toner Ingredients:  Water, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Squalane, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, PEG-100 Stearate, Sorbitan Oleate, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Triethanolamine, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Sodium Hyaluronate, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil, Tocopherol, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil

Lighten up with Osmotics Lighten FX

If you have hyperpigmentation, AKA uneven skin tone and brown spots, then you definitely want to check out Osmotics Lighten FX ($68).  Ever since I had my daughter 10 years ago I have been prone to small brown patches that seem to pop up out of nowhere…although I have to admit I also probably don’t reapply sunscreen often enough and that sure doesn’t help. I was hopeful when Osmotics sent this lightening and brightening serum to try and it has impressed the heck out of me.

Osmotics Lighten FX

Osmotics Lighten FX

Issues with skin pigmentation are caused by either too much or too little melanin. Typically, problems with melanin production are thanks to either sun exposure or hormones. Put them both together and it’s double trouble! Osmotics Lighten FX has proven ingredients that truly work to even out skin tone and get rid of brown patches. I had a rather significant one on my forehead and using this serum at night was working. Once I started using it both morning and night that patch disappeared within two weeks.

Osmotics Lighten FX

Osmotics Lighten FX is a serious brightening solution

Osmotics Lighten FX swatch

Osmotics Lighten FX swatch

The effective ingredients include Dimethylmethoxyl Chromanyl Palmitate for brightening skin tone and protecting skin damage from UV radiation. Alpha Arbutin slows down melanin production thanks to its hydroquinone content, which helps prevent future discoloration. The third super effective ingredient is Niacinamide. This superstar is vitamin B3 and nicotinic acid, an anti-aging cell-communicating ingredient. It firms skin, improves texture, and eliminates discoloration. It’s a fantastic moisturizer that also plumps skin and it even helps eliminate acne and redness that blemishes can leave behind. If you have both wrinkles and acne, this is the ingredient you need!

I love how easy it is to see how much product is left

I love how easy it is to see how much product is left

Don’t limit the use to your face as this will work on hands, neck, decolletage…anywhere you have hyperpigmentation issues. And the packaging is fantastic. The ingredients don’t need protection from heat and light to keep the products efficacy, so the see-through airless pump is fabulous and shows exactly how much product is left.

Osmotics Lighten FX is a total winner. This is the solution for all your hyperpigmentation issues!  - Lisa

*sent for editorial consideration

Ingredients:  Purified Water, Cyclomethicone, Dimethicone, Dimethiconol, Cetyl Palmitate, Sorbitan Palmitate, Sorbitan Olivate, Cetearyl Olivate, Glycerin, Squalane, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Dimethylmethoxy Chromanyl Palmitate, Alpha Arbutin, Niacinamide, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Methylmethacrylate Crosspolymer, Carbomer, Potassium Sorbate, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Tromethamine.

Lift and Luminate with Boots No.7 Day and Night Serum

Something that promises to both lift and luminate my skin? I’m game! Boots No.7, Britain’s #1 beauty brand, launched a skin serum duo last September that promises to reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles in four weeks. They sent the Lift & Luminate Day and Night Serum ($24.99) to test and this very affordable couple is rather impressive.

Boots Lift and Luminate

Boots Lift and Luminate

Lift and Luminate Day Serum

Lift and Luminate Day Serum

Together, these serums target three of the biggest skin care concerns: uneven skin tone, fine lines and wrinkles, and skin firmness.

The Day Serum has some interesting ingredients. Hyperpigmentation is tackled with Sopora, Kiwi, and Vitamin C. Free radical fighting ingredients include Vitamin C, ginseng, and mulberry. In addition, Vitamin A, peptides, and DPHP (Dipalmitoyl hydroxyproline) help firm and repair the skin’s elastic structure.

Lift and Luminate Night Serum

Lift and Luminate Night Serum

The Night Serum has PHA (Gluconolactone) which is a kick-butt leave on skin exfoliator.  PHA is as effective as AHAs, but because the molecular structure is larger there are less irritating side effects. The larger structure means less absorption into the skin, but PHA is proven to have the same efficacy, which is great news for those with more sensitive skin. In addition to exfoliating the skin, the Night Serum also hydrates and moisturizes.

Day and Night

Lift and Luminate Day and Night Serums

Both serums smooth on beautifully and soak in quickly. I find that they play well with my other skin care products. I used them for a month and they definitely left my skin brighter and healthier looking.

The price is right, too – you get a tube of each for only about $25. If you are looking for brighter, tighter, younger looking skin, think about picking up this dynamic duo next time you are at Target!  - Lisa

*pr samples

Le Mieux Collagen Peptide Serum

If you want a truly excellent, wonderfully effective skin serum with the best ingredients available read on. Le Mieux is a professional skin care line that is a favorite of both professionals and those of us who are simply serious about skin care. They sent the BIZ their Collagen Peptide Serum ($85), a serum with an elegant formula that reduces the appearance of wrinkles by increasing both hydration and the production of collagen.

Le Mieux Collagen Peptide Serum

Le Mieux Collagen Peptide Serum

The ingredients include a mix of the most effective peptides, ceramides, and antioxidants available. Instead of sealing in moisture like most serums, this serum increases moisture levels within the skin.

Peptides are cell-communicators that help skin cells function in a healthy manner. They are like the therapists of skin care ingredients. Some of the finest peptide ingredients are palmitoyl oligopeptide, palmitoyl tripeptide-5 and palmitoyl tripeptide-7, all three of which in are in the Collagen Peptide Serum. It also has superoxide dismutase, an extremely potent antioxidant that fights free radicals and reduces hyperpigmentation; retinyl palmitate, a fantastic antioxidant (actually it’s Vitamin A) that exfoliates and promotes collagen production; ceramide 2 and ceramide 3 to repair skin; beta glucan for moisture and to calm irritation…the list of first-rate, powerful ingredients goes on and on.

applicator top

applicator top

the serum is a light lotion

the serum is a light lotion

The serum is a milky lotion that is applied morning and night after cleansing and before moisturizing. It soaks in quickly and has no discernible scent. Applied to the face, neck, and decollete area it reduces fine lines, boosts collagen production, soothes skin and repairs it too.

The bottom line is this: Collagen Peptide Serum is a somewhat expensive serum that really and truly works.  It has amazing ingredients and enough science behind it to make Bill Nye jump for joy  Le Mieux is a fabulous skin care line that has terrific products and this one gets an A+ from me.  - Lisa

PS – how cool is this?  Le Mieux products are available on Beth’s Beauty Bus in Los Angeles.  This is LA’s first ever mobile retail cosmetics and skin care boutique.  For more information about Le Mieux Cosmetics, call 888-327-8188 or visit www.lemieuxcosmetics.com. For more information about Beth Ross or Beth’s Beauty Bus, call (760) 574-4343 or visit www.bethsbeautybus.com.

*pr sample

** for more on Le Mieux read about their anti-aging eye kit here

Knu Anti-Aging Serum from Michael Todd True Organics makes me feel new

Michael Todd Knu Anti-Aging Serum

Michael Todd Knu Anti-Aging Serum

sample sent for review

It’s true, I need an anti-aging serum. I admit it. But guess what – so do you! It’s never too early to start a skincare regimen that will keep your skin youthful looking. Michael Todd True Organics has created several products in the Knu line that are for those of us that have dry skin or need some help with firming, lifting and tightening. The original product in this Knu line is the Knu Anti-Aging Face Cream and now comes Knu Anti-Aging Serum.

Michael Todd Knu Anti-Aging Serum

Michael Todd Knu Anti-Aging Serum

I’ve been using the Knu Anti-Aging Serum for the last 4 months and enjoying it immensely. This serum contains the best ingredients from the Michael Todd True Organics company. The KNU line is an expensive line but well worth it considering what it does for your skin. The ingredients in this Knu Serum are pretty incredible. Here it is right from the source: “Like a reset button for the skin, this ultrarich anti-age serum transforms skin on contact with Michael Todd’s now famous formulation for immediate face-saving firming, lift and tightening. Made with 70% organic ingredients synergistically combined with a unique combination of Matrixul 3000, Syn-Coll, Epidermal Growth Factor, DMAE, Alpha Hydroxy Acid, Snail Serum, Arbutin and L-Arginine and other clinically proven ingredients known for their powerful skin regenerating properties.”

Knu Anti-Aging Serum applicator

Knu Anti-Aging Serum applicator

The more you read about high end skincare, the more you’ll see ingredients like snail serum (or snail secretion) that might make you squeamish; but there’s a lot of testing and research that goes into a product that uses these ingredients – it’s interesting to read about the effects of it. I won’t go into all the ingredients they use since you can read about them yourself on their website, but the more I read the more I realize why my skin has been drinking this up.

Knu Serum

Knu Serum

As you can see the serum itself is a thin liquid that looks almost watery. The consistency is loose but there is some substance to it. The best thing is that it’s not the least bit sticky. I find I need just one drop for my entire face, two if I remember to use it on my neck. A little goes a long way. There’s a slight herbal fragrance that dissipates very quickly. I rarely even notice it any more. I start with this every day as the first step in my skincare, next is moisturizer, then a primer, and last SPF. It sounds like a lot but nothing is heavy so my skin looks natural.

The end result is that my face is more hydrated, I’m not showing those darned age lines, and I feel better about myself. I wish I could bath in this since I need that all over! My advice is to sign up for the Michael Todd True Organics website to get their newsletters. They have a lot of specials that are found through these newsletters. I’ve found Michael Todd products on Hautelook and some of the sites like Groupon too. If any of the Knu products show up that’s a great time to buy.

Michael Todd Knu Anti-Age Serum

Michael Todd Knu Anti-Age Serum

Michael Todd’s line of organic and cruelty free products has impressed me more with each product I’ve had the opportunity to try. Knu Anti-Aging Face Lift Serum is the top of the line, it doesn’t get much better than this. — Marcia

*sent for review

Our Michael Todd Knu Serum Eye Treatment giveaway is going on through January 3, 2014. Use this link and enter. I haven’t tried it but if it’s anything like the regular serum it’s going to be fantastic.

 

 

Divine anti-aging skin care from L’Occitane

L’Occitane is very well-known for their bath and body products as well as their signature fragrances. But did you know they also have an extensive skin care line? There are products to combat lines and wrinkles, ones to tackle uneven skin tone, and options that focus on hydration and vitality. L’Occitane sent two items from their Anti-Aging Divine line, Divine Lotion ($54) and Divine Extract ($116). Rounding out this line (but not reviewed today) are the Divine Cream ($106) and Divine Eyes ($76).

The Divine line is instantly recognizable by the super luxurious golden glass jars. These jars look and feel totally decadent. You won’t want to hide them in a medicine cabinet, they will go front and center on your counter!!

Lotion

Divine Lotion

What makes the Divine Collection unique is each product contains the immortelle flower. This flower never fades, even after it’s been picked. It has a large amount of neryl acetate, which is an anti-aging molecule. Products also include 7 plant-derived active ingredients that increase skin’s radiance and luminosity. The Divine products I tested have a definite citrus scent that does linger, so if you are sensitive be sure to try them out first.

The Divine Lotion is a toner and it is much thicker than what I expected. It’s not quite a lotion as the name would suggest; it has lots more heft than a typical toner does. I actually like the screw-top jar since it would be difficult to get the product out with a pump. Smooth this on after cleansing for some impressively hydrated and amazingly soft skin!

Lotion

love the gorgeous bottle

Lotion

makes it easy to pour this thicker toner

Lotion

a swatch of some divine toner!

The Divine Extract Serum has a very high concentration of organic immortelle essential oil along with myrtle essential oil to help smooth wrinkles and plump up skin. It also has hyaluronic acid and vitamin C for anti-aging and fighting the good fight against free radicals.

Serum

Divine Extract Serum

Serum

love that golden jar

Serum

a great hygienic pump

serum

such a velvety smooth serum

As the days and months fly by and I just keep getting older, I notice that my skin tends to look dull and dry. Unfortunately, it also has a nasty reaction to anything that is too hydrating, resulting in painful cystic acne. I was concerned that this serum might be too rich for my unpredictable skin, but it turned out to be nothing short of rejuvenating. The serum has an amazing texture. It’s really silky, almost like velvet, and it feels amazing on. My only complaint is the citrus scent. While it isn’t as strong as the scent of the toner, it does seem to linger longer. (A really cool feature is the jar has a see-through line down the side so you can easily see exactly how much product is left.)

As rich as this serum feels, it doesn’t make me break out at all. It quickly makes dry, flaky skin a thing of the past and it reduces the look of fine lines and wrinkles.

While I wouldn’t say these products are for everyone – they have fragrance and are definitely on the spendy side – they are very impressive. I would love to try the Divine Cream and Divine Eyes. For now I can tell you that the Divine Lotion and the Divine Extract truly are divine anti-aging skin care.  - Lisa

 *pr samples