[Bellflower] Hibiscus Anti-Aging Serum Review

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I haven’t posted a review of a serum for…. God only knows how long. Ages, it seems. So I’m coming to you with the review of this Bellflower Hibiscus Anti-Aging Serum. I received this product from Bellflower’s founder for review purposes but even though I got it from the brand itself, all opinions in this review are mine and only mine. So, with that being said, let’s jump to the review!

 

About the product

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Bellflower is a rather unknown brand as it’s fairly new on the market. According to their website, they’re a brand that provides products which are intensive solutions to skin problems with an emphasis on ”naturalistic ingredients of EWG safety grade not including artificial scent and colors” and the ”necessary quantity of ingredients” rather than their number. And all that with a packaging that is simple and eye-pleasing.

When it comes to the product itself- the Hibiscus Anti-Aging Serum– it is a serum that aims to contribute to making skin healthy, elastic, moisturized and smooth. The health and elasticity of the skin are meant to be aided by Adenosine, Hibiscus Flower Extract, 7 type complex of Peptides and Collagen, while the moisturizing and smoothness effect is meant to be achieved with the help of Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice and Acorus Calamus Root Extract. That’s the only information on the serum’s packaging. On the official website of Bellflower, there’s a bit more information on the product (you can also buy it from there, just by the way) so if you’re interested, you can have a look. However, I’ll use some of the information from their website below to address the ingredients and texture so you won’t miss much.

So! Let’s proceed to the ingredients, my favourite part of reviewing skincare products.

 

 

Ingredients and Texture

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Ingredients: Water, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Glycereth-26, Dipropylene Glycol, Niacinamide, Hibiscus Sabdariffa Flower Extract, 1,2-Hexanediol, Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Glycosyl Trehalose, Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysate, Arginine, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Carbomer, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Gardenia Florida Fruit Extract, Xanthan Gum, Adenosine, Disodium EDTA, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tremella Fuciformis (Mushroom) Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Acorus Calamus Root Extract, Perilla Ocymoides Leaf Extract, PPG-26-Buteth-26, Caprylyl Glycol, Wheat Amino Acids, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Peel Oil, Cymbopogon Schoenanthus Oil, Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil, Ocimum Basilicum (Basil) Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Salvia Sclarea (Clary) Oil, Anthemis Nobilis Flower Oil, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, Copper Tripeptide-1, Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4, Tripeptide-1, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1, Natto Gum, Hexapeptide-9, Nonapeptide-1

 

So. The good and the bad. Let’s go.

 

The good:

  • the ingredients in bold are the ones mentioned in the product description above (the ”staple” ingredients) and all of them are in the product, which is a big plus (I’ve seen products which claimed to have/not have certain ingredients and the ingredients list was showing something different)
  • contains Adenosine (supposedly there’s 0.04% of it in the product) which has proven anti-wrinkle benefits (makes the skin look younger and smoother) and Hibiscus Flower Extract (there’s meant to be 15,000 ppm of it in the product, according to the serum’s packaging and the Bellflower’s website) which contains AHAs (gently exfoliating acids), and a powerful antioxidant in the form of vitamin C, helping the skin look fresher, healthies and more evenly in tone. Plus, there’s also Niacinamide (2% in the product) which helps to brighten the skin.
  • contains 4 types of peptides (especially copper peptides) that encourage collagen production helping the skin stay elastic (as we age the amount of collagen in the skin diminishes)
  • contains Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice that has soothing and antioxidant properties, as well as Acorus Calamus Root Extract that’s meant to smooth and help to moisturize the skin
  • there are also a variety of other skin-beneficial plant extracts (e.g. Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract) and oils, such as Cymbopogon Schoenanthus Oil which has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties
  • there’s no artificial colouring or artificial fragrance
  • almost all ingredients are green-rated on CosDna meaning they’re safe to use on the skin

 

The bad:

  • it contains essential oils and while some of them are beneficial to the skin, others such as Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil can make the skin oversensitized; CosDna yellow-rates Citrus Limon (Lemon) Peel Oil and Cymbopogon Schoenanthus Oil in terms of safety, so although they have the potential to provide the skin with benefits, at the same time they may result in negative effects on the skin
  • there are two ingredients which have a rating of 1 (the lowest but of some significance nevertheless): Butylene Glycol for acne and Carbomer as a skin irritant
  • there’s Hydrolyzed Collagen in the serum which, although it doesn’t have any negative impact on the skin, it doesn’t bring in much either- collagen particles are too big to penetrate the skin to reach the underlying structures and stimulate the new collagen production

 

 

 

 

When it comes to texture, it’s very runny (almost water-like), pink-ish (sometimes it looks more reddish to me) and has quite a strong citrusy smell. It seems to be due to the Lemon and Orange oils mixed with other oils (Lavender, Basil and Clary) so it certainly doesn’t come from any artificial fragrance.  The serum absorbed super fast with every application, even faster than my essence which is more watery. It also didn’t leave any sticky feeling so I could easily apply my moisturizer on top of it.

 

 

 

 

My thoughts

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I got this serum over a month ago and for a month I’ve been wondering what actually are my thoughts on it. As much as I love the ingredients list that is packed with skin-beneficial ingredients (especially peptides!), I haven’t seen any significant difference in my skin since I started using it. The only noticeable change I noticed is that my skin felt thicker. After a month there’s been no change to my wrinkles either (yes, I do have wrinkles despite my age) but maybe I’ve had too high hopes. Or maybe a month hasn’t been enough for the serum to show its full potential. I’ll keep using it and maybe when more time passes by I’ll see a difference to my wrinkles and will update this review.

As for now, though, I can voice my full thoughts on other features of the product. I love how fast the serum absorbed every time and didn’t leave my skin tacky. It’s quite runny and spreads very well and so one or two drops were enough to cover my entire face. It comes with a small pipette which makes it very easy to get the product out and the bottle itself is made of glass which ensures the ingredients stay stable. I already mentioned that, but I’ll say it again- I’m a big fan of the ingredients in this serum (although some of them may have a negative impact on the skin, such as some essential oils). I’m a dry and sensitive skin type but I haven’t experienced any negative effects.

Overall, I do like this Hibiscus Anti-Aging Serum from Bellflower. It had positive effects on my skin: moisturized it well, made it thicker and more radiant. However, what I counted on the most when I started using it was an improvement to my wrinkles. It hasn’t done much to them but I’ll continue using the serum and I’ll continue having hopes- maybe after two months of using it I’ll finally notice some changes.

 

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[Some By Mi] Truecica Mineral 100 Calming Suncream Review

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Dear beauties! My apologies for such a long period of being quiet here, on the website. A lot has happened that affected me physically and mentally and I just needed some time to deal with everything that has been put on my shoulders. I’ll try to come back to posting weekly as soon as possible, so please just bear with me.

Going back to the topic of this post- I’ve been on a lookout for a new sunscreen for quite a while now. I’ve been trying to find a mineral sunscreen that doesn’t leave a white cast, isn’t drying/breaking me out and isn’t very expensive. It almost seemed like a non-existent sunscreen, like an ideal that hasn’t been invented yet. Fortunately, it exists (and maybe there are even more of them just waiting for me to discover them) and I was lucky enough to start looking for it now as it was launched not so long ago. However, it will be a topic of another review. 😉 Before that, I’d like to talk about another sunscreen which I found just before I discovered my holy grail of sun protection. The review of today’s post is based on my experience with Some By Mi Truecica Mineral 100 Calming Suncream SPF 50+ PA++++.

 

 

About the product

Unfortunately, the packaging of the Some By Mi Truecica sunscreen was predominantly in Korean. I’m not proficient in Korean in any way and so I was relying on the product description on the website from which I bought it- YesStyle (which I started to love, by the way). According to it, the benefits of this sunscreen are as follows:

 

  • A tri-functional product: UV Blocking + Whitening + Wrinkles Improvement.

  • With UV Blocking index SPF50+ PA++++ to block out both UVA/UVB.

  • Its non-nano factors will not absorb by skin easily while provides 100% of physical UV blocking.

  • With 85% of moisture essence, its lotion-like texture gives no white cast finish.

  • With 10,000ppm of Truecica™ for skin soothing, protection and skin barrier reinforcing.

  • No use of artificial fragrance, colourants and 20 harmful ingredients.

 

 

Does the sunscreen live up to those claims? Let’s find out by starting with the ingredients first.

 

 

Ingredients and Texture

Ingredients: Purified Water, Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Dipropylene Glycol, Zinc Oxide, Silica, 1,2-Hexanediol, Niacinamide, Polyglyceryl-3 Methylglucose Distearate, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Water, Titanium Dioxide, Sodium Polyacryloyldimethyl Taurate, Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate, Stearic Acid, Orange Peel Oil, Lauroyl Lysine, Disodium EDTA, Acrylate/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Lavender Oil, Adenosine, Centella Asiatica Extract, Artemisia Vulgaris (Mugwort) Extract, Caprylyl Glycol, Madecassoside, Asiaticoside, Asiatic Acid, Madecassic Acid

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The ingredients in bold in the first ingredients list are sun filters (Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide). The ingredients in the green colour are Tea Tree (helps with acne) and Centella Asiatica’s derivatives- a plant which is known to be the source of active ingredients famous for their healing properties. Now, some good and some bad of the Some By Mi Truecica Mineral 100 Calming Suncream’s ingredients.

 

The good:

  • As the screenshot of the ingredients list taken from CosDna shows, all of the ingredients are super safe, although three of them (Stearic Acid, Butylene Glycol and Zinc Oxide) might potentially, although unlikely, trigger acne.
  • The claim from the YesStyle website that holds the sunscreen contains ”10,000ppm of Truecica™ for skin soothing, protection and skin barrier reinforcing” may be somewhat true as the ingredients in that technology are Centella Asiatica and Tea Tree. The ingredients in the green are just those, meaning there are quite a few of their derivatives in the sunscreen, although it’s hard to say in what concentrations. That being said, the sunscreen seems to be a great option for sensitive skin.
  • It doesn’t include many harmful ingredients (20, according to the product description) such as parabens, artificial fragrance or Phenoxyethanol.
  • It contains two mineral sun filters (Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide) which are good for sensitive skin as there’s a smaller chance of a breakout. Plus, they provide broad protection against both UVA and UVB rays for longer than chemical sun filters most of which are less photo-stable.
  • Due to Centella Asiatica and Niacinamide it contains, it’s got some anti-aging and whitening properties.

 

The bad:

  • As already mentioned, three ingredients might cause breakouts (Stearic Acid, Butylene Glycol and Zinc Oxide, especially the first one).
  • There are some ingredients which may potentially trigger a fungal acne: Polyglyceryl-3 Methylglucose Distearate, Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate and Stearic Acid

 

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When it comes to the texture, the Some By Mi sunscreen’s consistency is very much lotion-like. White in colour and with a strong medical scent (I guess Tea Tree and Centella Asiatica may be the culprit here as there’s no fragrance in the cream) it spreads incredibly well. It’s not thick or greasy like many other mineral sunscreens out there and although it leaves a white cast, it is minimal. However, in my experience a least, it doesn’t layer up well so I had to remove it before re-applying it to avoid it rolling on my skin. I don’t know how it would work with makeup (I’ve read positive comments on that) but because I tend to splash loads of sunscreen on my skin (I’m a sunscreen freak that is very pale and doesn’t like the sun at all) I couldn’t put another layer of it 20mins after applying the first layer. So I’m not sure if putting makeup on top of it would work for me either.

 

My thoughts

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The verdict?

One of the things that I loved about this Some By Mi Truecica Mineral 100 Calming Suncream is how well it calmed my sensitive skin. No matter how sensitive my skin was on any particular day, when applied, it instantly calmed/cooled down any redness or any small inflammation I was struggling with that day. I believe it was due to the already mentioned Truecica™ technology that contains derivatives from Centella Asiatica and Tea Tree, helping to balance (sensitive) skin and heal it. Although Centella Asiatica and Tea Tree gave out a very strong medical scent which I didn’t like at the beginning, I got used to it pretty quickly so it didn’t bother me that much later on.

Another thing that I liked about Some By Mi Truecica Mineral 100 Calming Suncream was how well it spread (like melted butter on a bread slice, without any better comparison) and its minimal white cast compared to many other mineral suncreams I’ve tried to date. It was also very lightweight and non-greasy which made wearing it comfortable and there was no hair sticking to my face (which by the way drives me crazy, especially when it’s windy outside). I think the ease of spreading, non-stickiness and the fact it was really lightweight can be attributed to the fact that the suncream was designed to be lotion-like with ”85% of moisture essence”.

What’s more, because the sunscreen’s ingredients were super safe and contained only mineral sun filters, not only I was provided with a broad UV spectrum protection (SPF 50+ PA++++) but I didn’t experience any breakouts or clogged pores. And! The suncream didn’t contain lots of ingredients considered unsafe, including parabens or artificial fragrance, giving it a big plus and making it a good sun protection product for people with sensitive skin like me.

However, there are two things which I didn’t like about the sunscreen. The first one is how it layered up… which could be hardly done. As already mentioned, I don’t wear makeup but when I wanted to reapply the sunscreen the first layer from the first application started to roll leaving weird white powder-like streaks. So whenever I wanted to reapply it, I had to remove it all, apply a moisturizer and then I could put it on my face again. All of that took me well 10mins (or more) with every re-application which was particularly annoying as at work I had only 30min breaks during which I had to have my lunch and do other pressing things.

The other thing I didn’t like was that it was a little bit drying. When applied on top of a moisturizer, it wasn’t tragic but I wouldn’t recommend wearing it on its own if you have dry skin like me. And as we all know, there are days when you’re in a hurry and you have to stick only to the most important skincare steps and in the morning, at least for me, it is a solid amount of sunscreen on my face and neck which is the best protection against aging. That’s why when I bought it, I made sure I had another, tested sunscreen at hand to use when in a rush.

Overall- did the Some By Mi Truecica Mineral 100 Calming Suncream live up to its claims? I’d say 99% ”yes”. I’m leaving 1% for a ”no” as there are certain things which cannot be tested with only using the product such as whether the sun filters’ particles were nano (as opposed to non-nano) or how much of the Truecica™ was in it. But I find it a very good sunscreen nevertheless. Maybe not so much for dry skin, but certainly it may be for normal/combination or even oily skin. That’s all from me. Just for the very end of this article:

 

Where you can get this sunscreen if you’re interested (I bought mine from YesStyle so I can vouch for it but I haven’t used the rest- I heard good opinions about them and so I added those stores to show you the options. Always make sure that you buy from the trusted distributor):

YesStyle

Jolse

Sweet Corea

Beauty Net Korea

 

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