I am partial, as you may know if you have read my blog for a while, to splashing the cash on the more high end brands. Somehow, my brain tells me that they must be better for my skin than drugstore options. Today I want to share three expensive empties-one that I think is no way worth the hype/price, one I am on the fence about and one that's definitely worth it.
Not worth the hype/price-SKII Facial Treatment Essence
I bought this in London Heathrow and it was literally sold to me as a wonder product in a bottle that was going to solve all my skin problems with one sweep across my skin. I may have been a little fuzzy from the champagne in the lounge but this sounded like an amazing idea-not so much when I got to the checkout and it retails for £115 for 160ml and had no more effect on my skin than water does.
So what is it actually supposed to do? Well, the Facial Treatment Essence supposedly has a cult following, with devotees (you have to be a devotee at that price) describing it as their 'holy water.' Pitera, the seemingly magical ingredient found in all SK-II products, supposedly helps restore vital balance by promoting the skin's natural 28-day surface renewal process. The blend of vitamins, amino acids, minerals and organic acids produce a seemingly miraculous rebirth of skin's appearance.
I expected miracles, not limited to at least smoother, clearer, more radiant and more even skin.
But sadly I genuinely saw no tangible improvement in my skin at all and even the texture simply felt like I was swiping water over my skin.
On the fence-Tata Harper Nourishing Oil Cleanser
My first Tata Harper skincare product, I picked this up in Sephora in Vegas where it retails for $68 (or buy from Cult Beauty for £54). I used this as my 'make up removing' first cleanse, relying on the oil to break down all my make up and the days grime. I found the texture to be quite heavy so it did do a good job of breaking down my make up but you have to remove it with a damp flannel because it does not rinse clean and it leaves a definite residue behind. On the skin the oil almost turns to a gel consistency-if you have ever tried the Omorovicza cleaning balm they feel similar in texture.
The oil itself contains apricot kernal seed oil, which lifts surface impurities while hydrating; argan oil, which reduces dry, flaky skin by infusing the skin with carotenes, squalenes, antixidants and vitamins; and sacha inchi oil, a concentrated source of omega 3 fatty acids that provides superior moisture for a healthier, hydrated appearance. And my skin did feel soft and nourished-but no more than when I use the much cheaper Boscia or The Body Shop cleansing oils. Don't get me wrong, for the price, I know the ingredients in the Tata Harper are much better quality but at the end of the day, the oil doesn't stay on the skin long enough to really add skincare benefits and I am using it to remove make up, not cleanse my skin so for that reason I feel the price v benefit equation is unbalanced.
The one you should buy-Sarah Chapman Overnight Exfoliating Booster
I really loved this serum. From day one my skin looked better.
First the claims:
'A night time detoxifying exfoliant serum which targets blocked pores, uneven skin tone, blemishes and wrinkles, without the need for stressing the skin with physical scrubbing.
This booster resurfaces and supercharges your night time skin care routine. Sarah Chapman Skinesis Overnight Exfoliating Booster contains a potent cocktail of non-abrasive skin resurfacers that gently exfoliate the skin whilst you sleep to accelerate natural skin renewal and address uneven skin tone.
This serum helps to prevent clogged pores, eliminates dead surface cells and limits pore distortion and blemishes, resulting in smoother, more radiant skin.
Inspired by Sarah Chapman’s specialist resurfacing clinic treatments, the booster is non-glycolic and incredibly brightening with ingredients to keep pores clean and skin decongested.
- Skin appears clearer.
- Pores are decongested and appear tighter and smaller.
- Skin looks more radiant.
- Wrinkles are minimised and skin looks smoother.
- Skin texture is smoother.
HIGH PERFORMANCE ACTIVES:
Lactic Acid, Willow Bark, Retinol, Exfolactive EL®, P Refinyl®, Glycorepair®.'
What attracted me personally to this serum is that it was exfoliating but it was non-glycolic. Don't get me wrong I still love a bit of Glycolic acid in my routine but I think at the moment my skin responds better to BHA's like Salicylic and Lactic Acid and the main ingredient of this serum is Lactic Acid.
Firstly, I do dislike the way the product dispenses-it comes with a pipette but the serum is quite thick and the pipette doesn't seem to pick up enough product which is annoying. I use between 1/3rd and 1/2 a pipette's worth after my double tone and then sometimes follow up with an oil or just leave it as is.
The first thing I noticed is this is a very 'dry' serum and it sinks into my skin immediately leaving no residue. I only wait about a minute before applying oil on top. When I wake up the next day my skin just looks so clear and healthy-it really seems to stop any spots in the tracks and I noticed a marked difference in my old acne red scars-especially on my chin. My pores around the bottom of my nose also look smaller.
I get no tingling at all with this product and I do think it is more on the gentle side and even though the recommended use is 2-3 times a week I find myself using it almost every day, My skin was clearer and smoother.
The Overnight Exfoliating Booster is £58 for 30ml (but you can buy a smaller tester 5ml size from the Sarah Champan website)
Have you tried any of these? Do you prefer to invest in high end skincare or feel the cost outweighs the benefits?