Product Review: Ten Instant Lifting Cream

ten instant lifting cream 01

Name: Instant Lifting Cream
Brand: TEN
Size: 50ml
Price: £23.99

From Clever Skincare’s website:
TEN-™ Anti-Age Instant Lifting Cream ’lifts’ the face making it appear more youthful and counteracts the signs of aging such as fine lines and wrinkles. Using a formula rich in antioxidants and Hyaluronic Acid (HA), this anti-age face cream rejuvenates cells for a smoother, younger complexion.

What I liked:
– lightweight texture sinks quickly into the skin
– moisturizing, makes skin soft and smooth
– plumps skin, temporarily reducing the appearance of wrinkles
– most people will love the subtle shea butter and coconut scent

What I didn’t like:
– jar packaging
– doesn’t contain many antioxidants

Humectants are a must have in any well-formulated moisturizer. They draw water from the environment into the skin, thus helping to keep it moisturized. When skin is moisturized, it is softer, plumper, and looks younger.

TEN Instant Lifting Creams contains two: glycerin and hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is particularly effective because it can bind up to 1000 times its weight in water and, unlike glycerin, works well both in high and low humidity conditions. That makes it a great choice for women all over the world, regardless of the climate they live in. Besides, hyaluronic acid has also been shown to improve skin’s elasticity a bit.

The rest of the cream is made up of emollients, such as Glyceryl Stearate, which acts like a lubricant, giving skin a soft and smooth appearance, and forming a barrier that prevents water loss, and Diethylhexyl carbonate, which is often used in place of silicones for the light emollience and good spreadability it provides.

Of course, like most moisturizers these days, TEN Instant Lifting Cream contains a peptide. It’s called Palmitoyl Pentaptide-4, also known as Matrixyl, and consists of five amino acids linked together and attached to a fatty acid to enhance its penetration into the skin.

ten instant lifting cream 02

Although whether it can really do so is still debatable. Peptides are usually too big to penetrate skin, but they could still work even when left on the surface. According to this theory, the signal to receptors present there how cells should behave.

Palmitoyl Pentaptide-4 is said to stimulate the production of collagen and elastin, much-needed substances to keep skin elastic and firm overtime. Although the results of the studies are promising, they were all conducted by the company that makes this peptide. Another concern is the small amount of this peptide in this formula. Even if it works, it’ll do so very slowly.

But moisturizing skin is something this moisturizer does very well. It has a fairly lightweight consistency that sinks very quickly into the skin, leaving both my oily t-zone and dry cheeks soft, smooth, and hydrated for most of the day.

I didn’t detect any brightening effect, but the fine lines around my eyes looked a bit smaller. The effect, though, is only temporary. Once the cream is removed, they are still there. But I don’t mind that. It’s the scent I can’t stand. It’s a subtle blend of shea butter and coconut most people will find pleasant, but I don’t. My nose rarely likes coconut scents. I’m weird like that.

Aqua, Cyclopentasiloxane, Glycerin, Glyceryl Stearate, Diethylhexyl Carbonate, PEG-100 Stearate, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Hamamelis Virginiana Water, Phenoxyethanol, Tapioca Starch, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Hydrolyzed Jojoba Esters, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Imidazolidinyl Urea, Olus Oil, Parfum, Steareth-2, Carbomer, Polyacrylate-13, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Cetearyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Sodium Hydroxide, Methylene Bis-Benzotriazolyl Tetramethylbutylphenol, Polyisobutene, Disodium EDTA, Hydroxypropyl Guar, Polymethylsilsequioxane, Simmondsia Chinensis Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii Butter, Hydrogenated Lecithin, PVP, Decyl Glucoside, Polysorbate 20, Sorbitan Isostearate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Butylene Glycol, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Propylene Glycol, Caprylyl Glycol, Xantham Gum, Hexylene Glycol, Citric Acid, Palmitoyl Pentaptide-4

Available at: Amazon and Clever Skincare

Ten Instant Lifting Cream has a lightweight texture that sinks quickly into the skin, leaving it soft, smooth, and moisturized. I just wish it contained more antioxidants and that it weren’t packaged in a jar.

Rating: 3.5/5

Disclosure: this item was sent by PR for consideration.In addition, the review contains an affiliate link. For more information, please see my disclaimer.

Can Perricone Cold Plasma Really Correct The Ten Most Visible Signs Of Aging?

perricone cold plasma

Cold Plasma, one of Perricone’s best-selling products, makes some high claims. Created after five years of research, it contains a powerful cocktail of antioxidant, peptides, and other goodies touted to be capable of correcting the ten most visible signs: wrinkles, enlarged pores, dryness, redness, discolouration, uneven skin tone, impurities, loss of firmness, loss of smoothness, and loss of radiance. But does it really work?

What Perricone Says

A revolutionary anti-aging product represents Dr. Perricone’s most comprehensive research to date and is the result of five years of development. Through Dr. Perricone’s patented delivery system, Cold Plasma offers the skin all it needs for optimal health. Cold Plasma helps correct the ten most visible signs of aging: wrinkles, enlarged pores, dryness, redness, discoloration, uneven skin tone, impurities, loss of firmness, loss of smoothness, and loss of radiance. Whatever your age or skin type, Cold Plasma delivers extraordinary results. A patented, revolutionary delivery system that drives essential nutrients deep into the skin and acts as an ideal base to layer targeted treatments for enhanced results.

Ingredient Analysis

tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate vitamin c

Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate and Ascorbyl Palmitate

Vitamin C is one of the most beneficial ingredients used in skincare. Studies have shown that it can fight free radicals, boost collagen production, enhance the effectiveness of sunscreen, brighten skin, and even reduce dark and sun spots. Cold Plasma contains two forms of Vitamin C, Ascorbyl Palmitate and Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate.

Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate penetrates more deeply and is more stable than other forms of Vitamin C. Even so, no form of Vitamin C (or any other antioxidant for that matter) should ever be packaged in a jar. That’s because these ingredients degrade, losing a bit of their effectiveness, whenever they are exposed to light and air.

I know some people who love this moisturizer and, to keep it stable and effective, pour its content in an opaque, air-tight bottle but, at this price point, that shouldn’t be necessary. The brand should take care to package it properly.


Retinyl Palmitate

Retinyl Palmitate is a combination of retinol (pure Vitamin A) and Palmitic Acid. It is easily absorbed into the skin, where it is converted first into retinol, then retinaldehyde, and finally into retinoic acid. Because it undergoes so many conversions, it is less effective, but gentler, than other forms of Vitamin A.

Like all forms of Vitamin A, retinyl palmitate is an effective antioxidant that can fight the premature signs of aging, such as wrinkles, and dark spots. But it, too, needs to be packaged in an air-tight, opaque tube or bottle to remain stable, and effective for long.

palmitoyl oligopeptide


Peptides are very popular at the moment. Cold Plasma contains quite a few. Oligopeptide-17 and Acetyl Hexapeptide-8 are said to fight wrinkles by inhibiting muscle movement; Palmitoyl Oligopeptide stimulates collagen production; and Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-3 reduces inflammation.

Peptides are a bit controversial because no one knows exactly how they work yet. Their molecules are too big to penetrate skin, but it is suggested they are effective even when left of the surface on the skin, where they signal to skin receptors present there how cells should behave.


Dimethyl MEA (DMAE)

Touted as a “facelift in a jar” for its ability to firm skin, DMAE is quite a controversial ingredient. Why? Because we don’t know how it works exactly nor how safe it is. A 2007 study has found that DMA can damage skin cells, suggesting that it’s as a reaction to this damage that skin thickens.

A later study, performed in 2009, confirmed that DMAE thickens skin, and found that it increase skin’s hydration as well, but didn’t detect any side effects. Further research on DMAE is needed to figure out just how good (or bad) it is for skin.

But there’s another concern. According to Paula Begoun, DMAE, to be effective, must be formulated at a ph of 10, which is highly alkaline (not good for skin) and can cause dryness. Skincare products are formulated at a much more skin-friendly ph (5.5-6.5 range), and, if Cold Plasma is too, then DMAE won’t be able to do much anyway.


Further considerations on the formula

The revolutionary delivery system used by Perricone in Cold Plasma is simply Phosphatidylcholine, which has the ability to help other ingredients better penetrate into the skin. Glycerin, drawing water from the environment into the skin, provides some hydration.

I was less thrilled to see Isopropyl Plamitate on the label. This ingredient, when used in high doses, never fails to break me out. Yet, I know many people who can use it without experiencing any side effects. Still, if you have oily skin, you may want to avoid it, just in case.

Full Ingredient List

Aqua (Water), Glycerin, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Phosphatidylcholine, Isopropyl Palmitate, L-Tyrosine, Butylene Glycol, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Oligopeptide-17, Ceteareth-20, Magnesium Aspartate, Zinc Gluconate, Dimethyl MEA (DMAE), Docosahexaenoic Acid, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Phenoxyethanol, Dimethicone, Caprylyl Glycol, Glycolic Acid, Retinyl Palmitate, Saccaromyces Ferment, Elaeis Guineensis (Palm) Oil, Carbomer, Disodium EDTA, Tocotrienols, Copper Gluconate, Polysorbate 20, Sorbic Acid, Tocopherol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Astaxanthin, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-3


You can buy Perricone Cold Plasma at Sephora. A 1oz jar will set you back a whopping $155.00!

The Bottom Line

I would be a lot more impressed with Perricone Cold Plasma if it were packaged in a tube or bottle. The formula is good, but the jar packaging compromises the efficacy of its most beneficial anti-aging ingredients.

K6: An Effective Aloe Vera Based Skincare Line For All Skin Types?

k6 aloe vera based skincare

Organic skincare brands are popping up everywhere at the moment. I can’t say I’m thrilled with this trend. You’re gonna miss out on a lot of effective and safe synthetic goodies if you limit yourself to plant-derived ingredients (although because the definition of organic is quite vague, synthetic ingredients still often find their way into these products).

One thing I noticed is that a lot of these brands use the natural, much loved by everyone, aloe vera. K6 Skin Care, a new organic aloe-vera-based line designed to accommodate all ethnicities and skin types, is one of these. But how effective is it? Let’s take a look:

What does aloe vera do?

Aloe vera has been used for centuries for its anti-inflammatory properties. Although the jury is still out there on whether it can actually help heal wounds, aloe vera can soothe irritations and reduce redness, making it a great option for people who suffer from psoriasis.

Aloe vera can also hydrate skin. A 2006 study has shown that “formulations supplemented with 0.25% and 0.50% (w/w) of Aloe vera extract increased the water content of the stratum corneum […] possibly through a humectant mechanism” (ie by drawing water from the environment into the skin.

The problem with aloe vera is that the mucilage derived from the plant and used in skincare products is 99.5% water. The part full of goodies is only 0.5%. What is it made of? That’s a “combination of mucopolysaccharides, choline and choline salicylate“. Therefore, for aloe vera to work its best, a generous dose must be added to creams and lotions. Luckily, it tops of the list of all K6 products.

k6 clean antioxidant face cleanser

Clean Antioxidant Facial Cleanser ($25.00)

Suitable for sensitive skin, the Clean Antioxidant Facial Cleanser contains a gentle mix of surfactants (Disodium Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Decyl Glucoside, PEG-18 Glyceryl Oleate/Cocoate, PEG-120 Methyl Glucose Dioleate) that help water mix with oils and dirt so that they can be rinsed away. But, while it does a great job at cleansing your skin in the morning, it may not be strong enough to remove makeup at the end of the day.

The cleanser also contains humectants aloe vera and glycerin, which help to keep skin hydrated and soft during and after washing. The mix of antioxidants, such as green tea and retinyl palmitate, instead doesn’t do much in a cleanser but increase the price tag. That’s cos they just end up down the drain.


A gentle and effective, if a bit pricey, morning cleanser suitable even for very sensitive skin.


Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Disodium Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Decyl Glucoside, PEG-18 Glyceryl Oleate/Cocoate, PEG-120 Methyl Glucose Dioleate, Glycerin, Camellia PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Root Extract, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Extract Blend, Butylene Glycol, Tetrasodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Citric Acid. Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract, Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Extract, Soapbark Extract, Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile) Flower Extract, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Extract,Tocopheryl Acetate, Retinyl Palmitate, Ascorbic Acid

k6 preserve anti-aging moisturizer

Preserve Anti-aging Moisturizer ($39.00)

Can you guess what my problem with the Preserve Anti-aging Moisturizer is? Yep, the jar packaging. Housing antioxidants (and this moisturizer contains quite a few of them, including green tea, topcopheryl acetate, and retinyl palmitate) in a jar is a waste of good ingredients and money. That’s because they degrade a bit every time they are exposed to light and air, until, after a while, they completely lose their anti-aging properties.

But if moisture and hydration is all you want, you may still enjoy this moisturizer. Aloe extract, glycerin and hyaluronic acid (it can bind up to 1000 times its weight in water!) all attract water from the environment into the skin, increasing its hydration levels. Cetyl Alcohol and Cetearyl Alcohol, two moisturizing fatty alcohols, and Squalane, instead, have emollient properties that leave skin soft and smooth.


A basic moisturizer that leaves skin soft, smooth and hydrated. Unfortunately, its anti-aging properties are compromised by the jar packaging.


Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Squalane, Undaria Pinnatifida Extract, Glycerin, Cetyl Alcohol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cetearyl Alcohol, Hydrolyzed Soy Fiber, Glycereth-26, Cyclopentasiloxane, Stearic Acid, Ceteareth-20, Hyaluronic Acid, Glycosaminoglycans, Soluble Collagen, Biosaccharide Gum-1, Anogeissus Leiocarpus Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Root Extract, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Extract Blend, Tocopheryl Acetate, Retinyl Palmitate, Ascorbic Acid, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Propanediol, Pentylene Glycol, Isodecyl Neopentanoate, Xanthan Gum, Carbomer, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Tetrasodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Triethanolamine

k6 reveal active enzyme peel

Reveal Active Enzyme Peel ($36.00)

According to K6, Reveal Active Enzyme Peel contains an “organic active enzyme peel that is a safe and natural way to exfoliate dead skin cells with no harsh chemicals”. But exfoliants with AHAs (such as glycolic and lactic acids), and Salicylic Acid, which I guess are what the “harsh chemicals” refers to, are actually one of the gentlest way to exfoliate skin, and cause problems only when used in too high amounts.

In any case, papain, the enzyme extracted from papaya used in Reveal Active Enzyme Peel isn’t a safer option. It can cause irritations and allergies too. If you are allergic to papaya or pineapple (papain can be derived from that too) you should stay away from it. There’s more bad news. Papain woks by dissolving old skin cells, but, according to Paula Begoun, it is effective only in pure concentration.

Aloe vera and a few antioxidants included in the formula can, thanks to their soothing and anti-inflammatory properties, help prevent and reduce any irritation that may occur. But I certainly wouldn’t recommend this peel over AHAs or BHA based exfolianst, especially not to those with sensitive skin.


Forget papain and stick to a gentler and more effective AHAs or BHA based exfoliant instead.


Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Butylene Glycol, Water, Carbomer, Hyaluronic Acid, Papain, Linoleic Acid, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Lactobacillus/Pumpkin Ferment Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Echinacea Angustifolia Extract, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Seed Extract, Carica Papaya Fruit Extract, Ananas Sativus (Pineapple) Fruit Extract, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Root Extract, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Extract Blend, Tocopheryl Acetate, Retinyl Palmitate, Ascorbic Acid, Panthenol Phospholipids, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Hydroxide

The Bottom Line

Personally, I would never buy a skincare product just because it contains aloe vera, unless my skin were sunburnt or otherwise irritated. It’s a beneficial ingredient, just not miraculous enough to justify splurging on it. Having said that, K6 Skincare has potential. The peel is a disappointment, but the cleanser is good, and the moisturizer is well-formulated too. It just needs to be repackaged in an opaque, air-tight tube or bottle.

Have you ever tried K6 Skincare?

Dry Skin? Here’s What Your Moisturizer Should Contain

best ingredients moisturizer dry skin

Whether you experience it year round, or only when the temperatures drop, dry skin is very frustrating. It flakes, itches, feels uncomfortable all day long, and gets easily irritated. What it needs is a well-formulated moisturizer that can soothe it, hydrate it, and keep it in top shape.

There’s no shortage of moisturizers for dry skin on the market, but how do you know which ones are effective? To work their best there are certain ingredients they absolutely must contains. Here they are:

glycerin molecular structure

1. Humectants

Dry skin desperately needs moisture. That’s why humectants are so important. This group of ingredients, which includes glycerin, hyaluronic acid, and glycolic acid can attract water from the environment into the skin, helping to improve hydration. Hyaluronic acid is particularly effective because it can bind up to 1000 times its weight in water and works well both in high and low humidity conditions.

oil cleansing method

2. Occlusive emollients

To attract moisture into the skin is not enough to keep it hydrated. The moisture also needs to stay there, and not evaporate again. That’s when occlusive emollients come in. They create a protective barrier on the skin that prevents water loss.

Some people are worried they can also cause breakouts. This rarely happens to people with dry skin, but if you are one of the unlucky ones that has to deal both with dryness and breakouts, experiment until you find the right combination of occlusive emollients that works best for you.

Also, make sure your skincare products don’t contain any comedogenic ingredients that may cause trouble once trapped underneath the barrier created by occlusive emollients. Occlusive emollients include olive oil, jojoba oil, mineral oil, petrolatum, and shea butter.


3. Skin-identical ingredients

Your skin has its own natural protective barrier. It is made up of skin cells and the “glue” that holds them together. When this barrier is intact, skin looks smooth, soft, and supple.

But its glue is quite fragile, and is easily damaged by UV rays, harsh weather, overcleansing, overexfoliating, indoor heaters, etc. When this happens, skin loses moisture, and becomes dry, flaky, and itchy.

To prevent this from happening, you need to maintain and restore this glue. How? By using a moisturizer with skin-identical ingredients, ie ingredients that make up the glue. These include, to name just a few, ceramides, amino acids, lecithin, phospholipids, and fatty acids.


4. Antioxidants

UV rays can cause all kinds of damage to the skin, including wrinkles, sun spots, and disruption of the skin’s natural barrier. Antioxidants, such as Vitamins C and E, green tea, and coenzyme Q10, can prevent and reduce the damage caused by UV rays, helping skin to stay hydrated and healthy.

A lot of antioxidants also double up as anti-inflammatory agents, helping to soothe signs of dryness such as redness, itching, and pain. The more antioxidants your moisturizer contains, the better. But be sure to opt for one packaged in an opaque, air-tight bottle or tube. Antioxidants lose their effectiveness when they come in contact with light and air.

alcohol denat

What to avoid

Knowing what to look for in a moisturizer is not enough to keep your dry skin healthy, soft, and supple. You also need to know what to avoid. Alcohol and witch hazel are both very dry and irritating to the skin. Mint, peppermint, and some kinds of natural oils, particularly citrus oils, can cause irritations as well. When this ingredients are found at the top of the ingredient list, leave the moisturizer on the shelf.

best moisturizer for dry skin

Best moisturizers for dry skin

There are a lot of good moisturizers for dry skin on the market. One of my favourites is Paula’s Choice Resist Barrier Repair Moisturizer with Retinol ($29.00). In addition to preventing water loss and hydrating skin, it also helps skin fight all signs of premature ageing, including wrinkles and dark spots, and firm skin. Other good options are Dr Dennis Gross Age Erase Moisture With Mega 10 Plus ($48.00), Arbonne Calm Gentle Daily Moisturizer ($36.00), and SkinMedica Retinol Complex 0.5 ($75.00).

What’s your favourite moisturizer for dry skin?

Ottilie & Lulu: Best Natural Skincare For Tweens And Teens?

ottilie lulu tweens teens skincare

As a mom, you want to protect your daughter. So, when it’s time for her to develop her own skincare routine, you look for the safest products you can find. And you’re told these are natural. After all, how can something that comes from mother nature be bad for you?

Well, it can. While a lot of natural ingredients are gentle and effective, others are irritating and useless. Unfortunately, all too often, natural skincare brands use both good and bad ones in their skincare products.

Take Ottilie & Lulu for example. Their mission to create safe products specifically designed for tweens and teens and help them develop good skincare habits is admirable, but its execution leaves a lot to be desired. Here’s why:

ottilie and lulu gel cleanser

Morning & Night Gel Cleanser ($10.0)

It is a good thing that this cleanser contains a high amount of soothing aloe vera because its formula is packed with irritants. Mandarin, Orange, and Camphor Oils have no benefits for the skin (the first two are used to impart fragrance to products and the latter for its cooling effects), but contain compounds that can cause irritations. But at least these are used in small doses.

The same can’t be said for Witch Hazel. Although it enjoys a good reputation for its natural origin, Witch Hazel contains tannins, powerful antioxidants that can be irritating for the skin. To make matters worse, it is usually distilled with alcohol, which can be drying and irritating.

Of course these ingredients won’t remain on the skin long. That, coupled with the benefits of aloe vera, ensures the potential damage these irritants could do is minimal, but there are many more, and much better, options on the market. Does it cleanse well at least? The only surfactant present is Coco-Glucoside, which is quite gentle. But unless your teen wears a lot of makeup, it should work fine.


A natural cleanser packed with too many irritating and useless ingredients.


Aqua, Organic Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Santalum Album (Sandalwood) Extract, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Leaf Extract, Coco-Glucoside, Glycerin, Xanthan Gum, Santalum Album (Sandalwood) Oil, Citrus Nobilis (Mandarin Orange) Peel Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, Cinnamomum Camphora (Camphor) Bark Oil, Propanediol, Citric Acid, Organic Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Molasses, Guar Gum, Caprylic Acid, Ascorbic Acid, Potassium Sorbate

ottilie and lulu pure moisturizer
Morning Pure Facial Moisturizer ($14.50)

The Morning Facial Moisturizer is quite basic, but tweens and teens already have great skin and don’t really need any of the fancy ingredients so useful for grown-up ladies. This too contains a high amount of soothing and moisturizing aloe vera. Sunflower seed oil, shea butter, and cocoa butter all have moisturizing properties as well, while glycerin helps to keep skin hydrated by attracting water from the environment. As a result, the cream leaves skin soft and smooth for hours.

Unfortunately, this cream too contains citrus oils. They are part of the brand’s signature scent, which is fresh and appealing, but also, potentially irritating. I am a sucker for citrusy scents, but I don’t think they should be used on the face, where the skin is quite delicate. Soothing calendula and aloe vera extract, though, should counteract any damage that may occur.


A basic but very moistuirizing face cream. But I’m not fond of the potentially irritating citrusy scent.


Aqua, Organic Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Santalum Album (Sandalwood) Extract, Organic Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Organic Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Glycerin, Cetearyl Glucoside, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, Tapioca Starch, Organic Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Organic Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Santalum Album (Sandalwood) Oil, Citrus Nobilis (Mandarin Orange) Peel Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, Cinnamomum Camphora (Camphor) Bark Oil, Xanthan Gum, Citric Acid, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Caprylic Acid, Potassium Sorbate.

ottilie and lulu spot blemish treatment
Spot Blemish Treatment ($14.50)

The active ingredients in this spot treatment are willow bark (good), tea tree oil (neutral), and peppermint (bad). Willow bark contains salicin, a substance that, in the presence of the right enzymes, can be converted into salicylic acid. Salicylic acid can exfoliate pores from the inside, thus getting rid of blemishes and preventing new ones from forming. Unfortunately, this conversion doesn’t take place when willow bark is applied topically, but this ingredient still retains anti-inflammatory properties that can soothe and calm skin.

Tea tree oil is actually effective at treating acne, but only in 5% or higher concentrations. You guessed it, there’s not enough of it here. Peppermint has anti-microbial properties, but can also be very irritating. Very used in toothpaste, it is one of the most common causes of allergic dermatitis around the mouth.


Go buy a spot treatment with salicylic acid. It’s much more effective and less irritating.


Organic Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Organic Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Leaf Extract, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Extract, Organic Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract, Xanthan Gum, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Oil, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile) Flower Oil, Santalum Album (Sandalwood) Oil, Citrus Nobilis (Mandarin Orange) Peel Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, Cinnamomum Camphora (Camphor) Bark Oil, Tapioca Starch, Potassium Sorbate. Non-Comedogenic.

ottilie and lulu everyday facial moisturizer and sunscreen

Everyday Facial Moisturizer & Sunscreen SPF 20 ($18.50)

This basic sunscreen is by far the best product from the brand. The active ingredient is Zinc Oxide, which can, on its own, provide broad spectrum protection. Very gentle, it is suitable for all skin types. The catch? It can leave a white cast, but that’s a small nuisance compared to the damage UV rays can do to your skin if you don’t protect it well.

The sunscreen also contains silicones that give the product slip and make skin soft to the touch. But don’t worry. They don’t suffocate skin. That’s because their large molecules have space between them, thus allowing skin to perspire.

A bunch of antioxidants, including green tea (Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract) and Vitamin E (Tocopheryl Acetate) are also added to help prevent premature aging. Their concentrations are small, but young girls don’t really need a lot of them. At this age, sunscreen is pretty much all you need to protect you skin from premature aging. What about irritating ingredients? Apart from the fragrance, it doesn’t contain any.


A basic but good zinc oxide based sunscreen. I just wish it were fragrance free.


Active ingredient: Zinc Oxide (16.32%) Other ingredients: Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Dimethicone, Butylene Glycol, Caprylyl Methicone, Isononyl, Isononanoate, Dipropylene Glycol, Sodium Chloride, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Dimethiconol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium PCA, Algae Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Panthenol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Methicone, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Silica, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Chlorphenesin, Fragrance

The Bottom Line

Natural doesn’t always mean better nor safer. While many natural ingredients are beneficial for the skin, others can cause more problems than they solve. So, before purchasing, always read the labels carefully. As for Ottilie & Lulu, I think the brand has potential. It just needs to reformulate some of their products to increase the amount of beneficial ingredients and remove those that are irritating.

Have you ever tried anything from Ottilie & Lulu?

Product Review: Ten Anti-Aging Complete Rejuvanating Care

ten anti aging complete rejuvanating care 01

Name: Anti-aging Complete Rejuvanating Care
Brand: Ten

From the packaging:
A complete anti-aging formulation with potent and high quality active ingredients. The key active ingredients are all natural and work together to restore skin elasticity and moisture content.

What I liked:
– lightweight texture, sinks in quickly
– hydrates skin, leaving it soft and smooth
– temporarily reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
– doesn’t cause breakouts

What I didn’t like:
– the formula may be too basic for some people
– there aren’t many natural ingredients here (not a con for me, but because the company claims the opposite, I thought I’d mention it here)

There are some anti-aging creams that contain antioxidants, retinoids, and alpha hydroxy acids that can prevent and reduce the signs of aging, such as dark spots and fine lines. And then there are others that are more basic, and work by hydrating skin, so that it looks smoother and suppler, and by temporarily filling in wrinkles with silicones. Ten Anti-Aging Complete Rejuvanating Care falls in the latter category.

Although the brand claims its anti-aging benefits are due to rice bran and jojoba oils, their concentrations are simply too small to do much. Instead, the active ingredients are Cetearyl Ethylhexanoate, Glycerin, and Dimethicone.

Cetearyl Ethylhexanoate is a water-repellent emollient that gets rid of dry patches and makes skin soft and smooth. Glycerin is a humectant that draws water from the environment into the skin. This keeps skin hydrated. And hydrated skin looks plumper and suppler.

Dimethicone is a silicone that creates a barrier on the skin that slows down water loss but doesn’t suffocate it. That’s due to its particular molecular structure, consisting in large molecules with large spaces between them. Dimethicone can also fill in fine lines and wrinkles so that they look smaller.

ten anti aging complete rejuvanating care 02

Once applied, Ten Anti-Aging Complete Rejuvanating Care makes my skin super soft to the touch. The fine lines around my eyes also appear smaller. But, because these effects are only temporary and disappear when the cream is removed, I use it together with Skin Actives Antioxidant Serum with ROS* Terminator (review coming soon), which is rich in antioxidants.

That way, while the Skin Active serum prevents further damage, the Ten cream makes the existing one less obvious. Its lightweight texture, which slightly resembles that of a gel, spreads easily on the skin and sinks in quickly, leaving no greasy residue behind.

It doesn’t irritate skin nor causes breakouts, works well as a base for makeup, and has a lovely flower scent that reminds me of spring. Although I wish it contained more antioxidants, if you’re looking for a basic moisturizer that can make your wrinkles look a bit smaller during the day, you may enjoy Ten Anti-Aging Complete Rejuvanating Care.

Aqua, Cetearyl Ethylhexanoate, Cyclopentasiloxane, Glycerin, Steareth-2, Cera Alba, Steareth-21, Cetearyl Alcohol, Stearic Acid, Dimethicone, Parfum, Phenoxyethanol, Imidazolidinyl Urea, Disodium EDTA, Orza Sativa Bran Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate.

Available at: Clever Skincare

Ten Anti-Aging Complete Rejuvanating Care has a lightweight texture that sinks quickly into the skin, leaving it soft, plumper, and hydrated. But its anti-aging properties are only temporary.

Rating: 3.5/5

Disclosure: this item was sent by PR for consideration. For more information, please see my disclaimer.