Ole Henriksen Lemonade Smoothing Scrub™
Categories Skincare

Ole Henriksen Lemonade Smoothing Scrub™

Last week, I gave myself a lemony refresher so I could properly review this Ole Henriksen scrub. Facial exfoliation is usually a task I relegate to cheaper products that just do the trick, so I admit I had not used the Lemonade Smoothing Scrub™ in a while. The beckoning question which follows can be only one: is it worth the moolah?

Ole Henriksen is one of those cult brands that elicits buzz among beauty connoiseurs and lovers alike. As such, it is no wonder that I first became acquainted with it through the videos of my favourite YouTubers before the brand had even dawned on my Sephora. I was going through a *scrub* phase when it did and figured I ought to give the Lemonade Smoothing Scrub™ a try, in lieu of the more popular Banana Bright™ Eye Crème. Such is the folly of youth, my friends — what kind of person exchanges sweet bananas for sour lemons?

The exfoliator comes in a soft scrub that is yellow-coloured and lemon-scented. It is not the most pleasant of citric notes, as it smells more like the peels left on your kitchen counter than it resembles the sparkling jar of lemonade you just made, but it’s not entirely off-putting either. I applied it as I always do: in the shower, when my skin is wet and my pores open and it’s easy to thoroughly wash it off. As far as the experience itself goes, I’ve nothing to report — apply, wait, rinse, you’re done.

Let’s talk ingredients, then. The Lemonade Smoothing Scrub™ contains glycolic and lactic acids, the always-amazing glycerin and soothing chamomile flower extract. Seeing as this scrub is “inspired by a refreshing glass of lemonade on a hot summer day”, in Henriksen’s words, I find it peculiar that it does not include citric acid anywhere, just the fruit extract. In fact, pretty much all lemon-branded substances, such as lemon and bergamot peel oils and limonene, seem to exist purely for fragrance. More on that in the following paragraph. As a last, happy note, I want to mention the licorice root extract that is included in the formula.

Here is where things go wrong for me. AHAs (the glycolic and lactic acid), which are the cornerstone of this product, the exfoliators per se, are to be employed with wisdom. It is senseless to expect a peeling to be the most nourishing action anyone can perform on their face as part of their care routine, since this product category is meant to remove dead skin cells and general roughness. Indeed, a couple of weekly exfoliations are recommended depending on your skin type, a form of self-care that should extend to the body and feet. (I exfoliate my skin twice a week, which I believe to be the recommendation for mixed skin.) With this in mind, you should know AHAs increase your skin’s photosensitivity, which is why an extra deal of care under the sun is recommended upon using such products.

Why ally phototoxic, allergenic and sensitizer substances with the AHAs? It is not like these two classes must walk hand in hand. For example, while the Wishful Yo Glow AHA & BHA Facial Enzyme Scrub feels rougher on the skin and includes alcohol (no small amount of it, methinks, if it makes my flesh crawl right upon taking a whiff), it contains more and more varied fruit and flower extracts, such as blueberry, camellia, sweet almond, among many more. Quite honestly a superior recipe. Of course it’s not only about quantity, it’s about quality too. Antioxidant, antibacterial and even anti-comedogenic qualities, to be more precise. (Funny enough, you know what acid the Wishful does contain which the Lemonade Scrub doesn’t? Citric.) I would rather repurchase the Yo Glow — just embrace the alcohol. Cheers!

So when all of this mumbo-jumbo is said and done, what do I make of the Ole Henriksen Lemonade Smoothing Scrub™? It is honestly no more beneficial to me, in my humble, amateurish opinion, than the cheaper gel scrubs I am used to. Those perform their cleaning duties, which is all I can ask for in something from the supermarket. I have so much more to learn about cosmetics and ingredients. But had I known the littlest at the time, I would never have bought this product. It’s a mass of glorified lemon peels left overnight in a bucket and shoved inside an overpriced tube at those first rays of sun in the morning. I cannot recommend it even if you are not on a budget, and I am sincerely more appalled now that I’m done writing this post than I was in the beginning. Just why did I do this to myself? Shoulda chosen the bananas instead.

Have you tried this scrub by Ole Henriksen? If so, do you agree or disagree? Do share your thoughts in the commments section.

TL;DR

PROs
  • plesant and refreshing
  • it works
CONs
  • you deserve to be loved, honey.

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Wishful Honey Whip Peptide Moisturizer
Categories Skincare

Wishful Honey Whip Peptide Moisturizer

As a grand lover of Huda Beauty makeup products, I felt obligated to try her skincare line as well, available under the Wishful brand. My first contact with the Yo Glow Enzyme Scrub, which one might deem Wishful’s flagship, could not have been prevented — samples are ubiquitous in every retailer, whether you ask for one or not. In fact, it is very likely there’s a sample for you hiding in your order right now.

My less-than-positive experience with the scrub did not deter my resolution to try more from the brand. The Honey Whip Peptide Moisturizer was the one thing I was most excited to try, and I bought a mini version last November. I have been integrating it as part of my skincare routine since against familiar products, with days off in-between, and I’m now content with my experience so that I can share it with you.

Though it sits white in its tub, the Honey Whip is translucent upon application and quickly absorbed into the skin. It’s only a tad more consistent than the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel, as the formulation demands it. It is scented, although, and unlike the majority of Huda’s products, the fragrance is subtle, only reminiscent of beeswax. The tub lists manuka honey, cica, peptides and collagen as the ingredients to the moisturizer’s richness, but you should know it also contains niacinamide and glycerin as a plus. (Two pluses?)

All good things aside, let us have a look at its claims. As per Huda’s shop, the Honey Whip serves to “firm, lift, repair, AND plump the skin, as well as reduce redness and even out your complexion.” It also states the product to be non-comedogenic. The plentiful recipe, combined with the lightweight formula make the Honey Whip a great staple for both daytime and nighttime routines. It feels like a powerful treatment for your skin, with noticeable changes in texture right away.

I identified only one disadvantage to the Honey Whip — on my skin, a consistent use for three days enhances the production of sebum, so while it’s true I notice no comedones forming right away, it does offset the balance of my skin. It becomes greasy to the touch and I do think an everyday use would give way to pimples (and I do exfoliate). I know I said a similar thing about the Nivea Cellular Luminous 630® serum, in spite of the difference in alcohols, so I guess it’s just the nature of my skin in its struggle for balance.

I have found my favourite way to use this moisturizer it’s more as an evening treatment, a little moment of pampering. With this in mind, my mini tub is still going strong. It will take a while before I need to repurchase it. It’s definitely reaching holy grail status for me.

Made in the South Korea, the Honey Whip Peptide Moisturizer is currently available as a full-size of 50gr for €43 or as a mini of 20gr for €19.

TL;DR

PROs
  • entire line is cruelty-free
  • sits well underneath makeup
  • rich recipe
  • good value for the mini
CONs
  • nope!

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Nivea Cellular Luminous 630® serum
Categories Skincare

Nivea Cellular Luminous 630® serum

Back in January, I bought this in the hopes it would be a dupe for Caudalie‘s Vinoperfect Radiance Serum, which I had been using for three months straight, twice a day, with proven results. Price was the sole motivator here, as Nivea’s serum is about half the price of the Caudalie, for the same 30ml of product.

The Cellular Luminous 630® comes packaged in an opaque bottle with a pump, making it hard to see how much product remains inside. The product that comes out is coloured a ballerina pink, scented and of a lotion consistency, not a serum. The official Portuguese site for Nivea does not state a full list of ingredients, only Vitamin E and hyaluronic acid, preferring to focus on laboratorial testing — it contains forms of alcohol to thicken the formula, which might explain my experience with it, as someone whose skin is sensitive.

Differences in shape and form aside, I started by integrating the serum in my nighttime routine, analysing possible effects in the daytime. Nivea vouches for visible results in 4 weeks. In my previous experience with Caudalie, about 3 weeks were needed, not always counting on daily double applications. With the Cellular Luminous 630® serum, I actually noticed more redness surfacing my cheeks where I had applied the serum the night before, all other steps of my hygiene usual and known to me, making it clear who the culprit could be, upon three sequential days of application.

I cannot wear this serum for over a period of two days without noticing the exacerbation of the red spots. For what it’s worth, it serum did not enhance green/blue splotches, but this adverse effect is quite contrary to a “complexion correction” claim. Furthermore, though my skin is not normally sensitive to fragrance, I wonder if the parfum in the formula has any responsibility in the negative results. There is no chance I’ll take the words “visible results in 4 weeks” as a dare, lest my face hate me.

In the end, I much prefer the Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum and recommend it in lieu of the Nivea, in spite of the price. That one has a true serum consistency and a subtle fragrance; contains squalane, palmitoyl grapevine shoot extract, and no alcohol. Above all, the Caudalie I can make two daily applications out of as per the brand’s recommendation and notice an overall improvement over my skin’s cast, with cool tones minimised. Plus, Vinoperfect is vegan and contained in a glass bottle, making it recyclable.

For all reasons given above, I do not enjoy, do not recommend and will not be repurchasing this product.

TL;DR

PROs
  • emolient and pleasant to apply
CONs
  • not cruelty-free
  • not a dupe for vinoperfect
  • you had one job!

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