12 March 2013

Products I want to like...but end up hating...

Have you ever seen a skincare product and felt an immediate connection? You introduce yourself; you hit it off. It's not just a one-night stand, you're in love. You make plans for the future. You clear a spot on your counter just for that product.

Then one day, you wake up and realize that something isn't quite right. That spark just isn't there anymore. Is it you? Is it the product? You don't want to give up, so you keep trying - hoping that the product won't break it's promise to give you beautiful skin.

But alas, you finally realize that it's over. The product has done the exact opposite of what it said it would do. Now, not only do you have to deal with a broken heart and wasted money - but you have even more skincare issues than you had before. Dirty, rotten rat b@&#@^%!!

As you can probably tell - this has happened to me. A lot. (And also, I like to read smutty romance novels. Does it show?)


A few months ago, I got several super-sized samples from Sephora in a gift-with-purchase bag. Two of those samples were fairly high-end products. Once I opened them, I had high hopes because they met two of my most important criteria: unfragranced (or very lightly fragranced), and a thin, light-weight consistency.


DDF Amplifying Elixir - 1.7 oz for $70 at Sephora
from Sephora's website:
What it is:
An antiaging treatment formulated to improve hydration and boost the effectiveness of other skincare products.
What it is formulated to do:
Clinical studies have shown that DDF's Amplifying Elixir strengthens skin's moisture barrier by up to 50-percent, transforming skin's appearance for lasting change. It also enhances the effectiveness of routines from the three top professional skincare brands. 

What else you need to know:
This product contains a potent blend of three botanical extracts, including banyan tree, lotus flower, and red clover extracts. Another ingredient, niacinamide, has been proven to strengthen skin's moisture barrier.

Suggested Usage:
-Apply this exclusive treatment twice daily, morning and evening, after your cleansing routine.
-Smooth an even, hydrating layer of DDF Amplifying Elixir across the face, neck and decollete using hands and fingertips, gently pressing and massaging if desired.
-Follow with a Protect product in the morning and a Moisture product in the evening.


This is a clear, watery product, as the term "elixir" implies. In the sample tube, it tends to come out entirely too quickly, and you end up with more than you need. Apparently, the full-size bottle comes with a pump, which should eliminate that problem. It applies easily, absorbs quickly, and really has no fragrance.

I used it twice daily for two weeks. Then I noticed that my skin was really, really flaky. Ewww. I tried exfoliating and waiting it out to see if it was just a stage my skin needed to go through - as is sometimes the case with skincare products. Nope. My skin hates it.

I made a rookie mistake. One I should know better than to do. The sample bottle doesn't list all of the ingredients - and I didn't check them out before using the product. I read a few reviews, which were positive - and I started using it. But the third ingredient is niacinamide.

Niacinamide is used with success by many women - but unfortunately, it really irritates my skin and makes it very, very flaky. So just because this product didn't work well for me doesn't mean that it won't work well for others - but just be aware that not everyone can use niacinamide successfully.


Algenist Regenerating Anti-Aging Lotion - 2 fl. oz. for $75 at algenist.com
from the Algenist website:
What is it?
This oil-free lightweight lotion restores moisture to the skin, while minimizing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Alguronic Acid combined with vitamin C and E and watermelon extract help diminish signs of aging and boost skin radiance.
Key benefits:
Restores moisture and hydrates the skin, minimizes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, softens and smoothes skin texture, boosts skin radiance.How to use:
Apply to the entire face, neck and chest area twice a day. Use only as directed.

This is a thin, light-weight, white lotion with a very light (slightly chemical) fragrance that disperses right away. It applies easily and absorbs quickly. Even the sample came in a nice little pump bottle, so it was easy to dispense the proper amount of product. I also like pump bottles because they reduce the change of contamination and exposing the product to air.

I used this product once daily for two weeks. Then I noticed that my skin was really, really flaky. Again. Double ewww. I tried exfoliating and waiting it out to see if it was just a stage my skin needed to go through - as is sometimes the case with skincare products. Nope. My skin hates this one, too.

This one doesn't contain niacinamide, but it does contain three peptides. Apparently, that was just too much for my skin. Again, many people use this product with great results - unfortunately, I'm not one of them - which means there will be other people who have the same problem.

I encourage you to read ingredient lists and reviews prior to trying products - even if you're only using a sample. You might save yourself a lot of aggravation (and avoid a skincare disaster!). You can't rely on price as an indicator of whether or not a product will work for you.

P. S. I even tried just using these products on my chest - thinking that if flakiness occurred, it wasn't a major issue. Bad idea. No flakiness - but I had a splotchy, red chest that took several days to go away. If a product doesn't work for me, apparently it really doesn't work!

(Disclaimer: As always, my opinions are strictly my own. I am in no way associated with either of these companies or with any company that sells these products. While they were free samples, I received them as a GWP with other products I purchased myself. I received no compensation for trying and/or reviewing these products.)