I was asked by the Body Shop PR if I'd be interested in trying out their 'Drops of Youth' range and trying their 28 day challenge and share my results... and I said yes. (though this is not in any way sponsored apart from receiving the PR samples)
According to the website, this range "tackles the first signs of aging" and apparently makes mince meat of fine lines and wrinkles BEFORE they get a chance to take form, read; PREVENTION rather than cure.
The science part stems from plant stem cells (pun intended) and the key words seem to be NOURISHING, HYDRATING & REFRESHING.
Now I have to say at the grand ol' age of 33 (34 next week o_0) I have very few lines or wrinkles on my face so far to speak of unless I'm super dehydrated, sick or hungover. (The last of which never happens anymore due to not drinking alcohol much anymore)
I do have expression lines around my eye area when I smile etc and the first signs of those pesky crows' feet, but nothing that has made me run down to my nearest botox-giving clinic quite yet.
I was sent the Youth Concentrate (€52.50 for 50ml) and the Youth Cream (€35 for 50ml) to try out**. The first being a serum (more-or-less) and the latter a moisturiser. There are a few other products in the range including an eye cream (€30.50 for 10ml), a mask (€33 for 90ml), an essence (pre-serum lotion €23.95 for 160ml) and a primer-like product called the 'Wonder Blur' (€26.95 for 30ml).
I am going to talk about the two products I was sent and tried out over the past month**.
I am a skincare fanatic and love trying out new products that I am always convinced will totally revamp my skin (spoiler; they never do) and am a big nerd when it comes to ingredients, which I will always read before the products' claims, as I can learn more about the product from that list than from the brands' often over-inflated blurb.
When it comes to these two products that I used every night for the past month, I have a love/hate relationship with them because of the ingredients.
I'll start with the Drops of Youth 'Youth Concentrate'...
This is a serum which is a viscous fluid that comes in a very attractive dropper bottle and a generous 50ml of product, though you are paying for the volume at €52.50 for the bottle.
It promises to enhance the surface of the skin by smoothing and moisturising, and contains 99% naturally originated ingredients. So far sounds so good, and it is a lovely serum to use. Feels lovely and hydrating when applied to freshly cleansed skin, soaks in very quickly and thanks to the various humectants and its other conditioning ingredients leaves the skin feeling plump and healthy looking.
So why the love/hate?
Firstly because of the second ingredient which is pure alcohol. Named as Alcohol Denat on the list, this is the second most prevalent ingredient after water and while my face and skin tells me "We love this product", my knowledgeable brain tells me to run a mile because of the damaging alcohol. Secondly there are several fragrances included within the ingredients and natural or not these can prove problematic to sensitive skins and to all skin types over time with continuous use.
Back to the alcohol though, just because for me this really lets an otherwise lovely product down.
I mean, I have been liking this enough that I even included it in my recent favourites video, BUT I just can't knowingly allow myself to continue to use a product so high in alcohol on a daily basis.
Alcohol is in most pharmacy and department store skincare products, I often spend hours trawling shelves trying to find products that don't contain alcohol in high doses but it honestly is very damaging in the long term to use these products daily. A little alcohol very low down in an ingredient list is okay with me, or if it is high up on the list but in a product that I might only use once a week or fortnight then I'm *kind of* okay with it; BUT high doses of alcohol applied to the skin daily over a long time will cause more damage than good. It is extremely drying firstly, which just fights against the hydrating ingredients in the rest of the product, but over time it will also break down the structure of the skin by damaging healthy cells and actually causing more wrinkles and fine lines. So for me it is something I choose to avoid in skincare as much as I can.
Anyhow, rant over. But now you all know how I feel about that!
|What's left in the jar after a month of daily use.|
The Drops of Youth 'Youth Cream' is described as a "youth enhancing" moisturising cream.
This again works on the idea of these plant stem cells and their "regenerative powers"... and again comes across as a really lovely, hydrating cream. It has a lovely texture that is described as velvety, and I have to agree it's a pretty darn good word for it. Very smooth and moisturising without being greasy or heavy. Over time this cream claims to reduce the appearance of the pore size, refine skin texture, minimise the appearance of fine lines and add a luminosity to the skin.
I chose to use this as my night cream throughout the trial as it has no sun protection factor in it and unless I'm in significant sun, I rely on my moisturiser for my SPF. I can't say a bad thing about how this applied and felt on the skin. Like the serum, I really truly enjoyed this and think it did add a visible "bounce" and freshness to the skin. HOWEVER, as with the concentrate/serum, it had alcohol very high up in the ingredients. You'd be forgiven for thinking that the cream is doing more good than harm to the skin because of how lovely a product it acts but again it's just a personal decision of mine not to knowingly use any product that has high levels of alcohol in it on the daily.
This without the alcohol however, and maybe a bit less fragrance, would be a near-on perfect cream so it really is a shame it contains as much as it does.
Below are a series of pictures documenting my skin, starting on day one of the challenge, roughly half way through the month and finally at the 35 day mark.
The very last picture shows my day one face beside my day 35 face for an up-close comparison of the 'before & after'. Please do note however that I consciously did not consider my cheek acne in this trial as it coincided with me coming off the pill which had caused me to develop acne and this acne is clearing up on it's own thanks to the absence of those foreign hormones.
Scroll on down to see what the results, and difference if any, was...
For me there is a subtle difference in my skin between day one and day 35 after once-a-day use of the serum and cream. In both pictures my skin is clean and un-moisturised, so no product is present at all on my skin. On day 1 my skin has superficial dehydration lines visible on the forehead in particular and has a matte look to it. In the 'after' picture on the right, my skin looks a lot more luminous and fresh, just more bright and hydrated looking. Plus the dehydration lines on my forehead look less prominent despite not having any moisturiser etc applied.
Despite my little hissy-fit earlier about the alcohol content, it is very hard not to sing these two products praises as the results do seem to speak for themselves. As I said, I won't continue to use these on a daily basis but I probably will keep them to use every now and again which says a lot as I generally have a much more zero tolerance approach to products that contain alcohol so high up in the ingredients. I am well and truly torn by this range.
I am very tempted now as well to pick up the eye cream sometime in the future as that thankfully is alcohol free which is a MUST for me for the delicate eye area.
What do you guys think of the range? Can you notice the difference in my skin in the 'before & after' photo?
I'm very interested to hear other opinions on this in general.