Who ordered the stripper?
So I had a fistful of these samples from Natura Bissé's Stabilizing Line, the Stabilizing Complex, which is a serum, and the Stabilizing Gel Cream, which is a moisturiser. Designed for combination to oily skin I thought, erra go on so I'll give 'em a go.
I have typically Irish combination skin, oily T-Zone with a couple of dry patches thrown in for the craic. I was expecting wonderful things from these, seeing as they are formulated by a well established company (founded in 1979, ooooooh look who did her homework!) which is hailed by Oprah as being a celebrity must-have brand. If it's good enough for celebrities well then damnit it's good enough for me.
First up - the serum
|Natura Bissé Stabilizing Complex (the serum)|
On opening the sachet of the Stabilizing Complex (hereinafter referred to as "the serum". I'm getting my legal-speak on) the first thing that I noticed was the - how shall I put it - eye-watering solvent stench that greeted me. Definitely not the usual creamy, lightly-scented serums that I am accustomed to, but let's drive on and give it a chance. I smathered just a teeny bit on as I was a bit worried about the obviously strong alcohol ingredients over-drying my skin. It seemed to absorb very quickly (as the days went on I figured it was probably evaporating more quickly than absorbing into the deeper layers of my skin). Without a doubt my face felt really purged afterwards of all gunky nasties. The 2% salycilic acid exfoliated and cleared out my pores, and then was kind enough to tighten them up afterwards. The anti-bacterial qualities made my skin feel incredibly matte, and clean, like blank-canvas-clean. My skin "looked" great but unfortunately felt taut, definitely not moisturised and luminous per the product's claims.
Look here to the product page on the Natura Bissé site for some more info.
And on to the moisturiser
|Natura Bissé Stabilizing Gel Cream - the moisturiser|
After "the serum" had absorbed, I applied the Stabilizing Gel Cream (you're getting it, "the moisturiser"). This had a much more pleasing, gentle fragrance and a lovely, light texture, and applied beautifully. I was rather generous with this on account of the slightly tight feeling in my skin after using the serum. The dealio with this is that it controls excessive sebum production and also bacterial production so it actually prevents impurities from forming in your freshly spring-cleaned pores. Awesome. According to the paraphernalia it provides a matte appearance without drying the skin and gives 24 hours of hydration and elasticity along with anti-oxidant vitamins that prevent the appearance of premature signs of aging (deep breath). I loved the feeling of this on my skin. It absorbed well and there was a matte finish without the tight dry feeling. There was no greasiness and it certainly balanced the texture of my skin. As fresh and smooth as a baby's arse so to speak.
For ingredients and other info look here.
How and ever, and unfortunately... two hours later
As a personal rule, whenever I'm trying out something new I check it regularly after application, just to ensure everything is as it should be. After about an hour I noticed my "for the craic" dry patches starting to reappear. So I applied some more moisturiser. Then a further hour later I needed to rummage around in the attic for something, as you do. Soon after coming back down I felt my face becoming quite itchy in places and after checking the mirror, I noticed more dry bits around my nose and a little bit of red patchiness developing on the more sensitive skin around my lips. I would usually have this reaction on my neck and décolleté after exposure to dust (hence my referring to the attic, it wasn't just a completely random fact of the day) and cats (now that was just a random fact of the day) but my face has never had a reaction like this. My skin felt well and truly... (wait for it, wait for it)... stripped! Ta da! I hope you're all applauding my incredibly witty humour. Groan. Okay, I apologise. Anyway back to business. So there I was with dry patches and red patches and completely unimpressed patches. Don't get me wrong, it's not like I was raw or anything but it was clear that this shouldn't have happened.
I continued to use them over the next few days, to prove that my skin wasn't just being an ass that particular day, or reacting to something else. But the results were pretty much the same as before. Also I noticed that each morning my skin would be a little drier than the day before. I realised then that this affair was over.
The Stabilizing Line seems more fitting for more oily, acne-prone skin than combination skin. I'm talking greasy oil slicks here. The kind that devastates sea-life and fishermen. I won't be purchasing this, it just didn't suit me. But if you have (very) oily skin and quite a few shekels jangling around in your pocket, by all means this could work for you*.
Seriously? No one enjoyed my stripper joke?
Until next time, thanks for reading!
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* Ed's Note: You can get some Natura Bisse stuff from Space NK in Harvey Nichols in Dublin - they don't carry all of their lines however. I usually get mine from Harrod's in London. And yes I do realise I'm in danger of sounding obnoxious ;-)