Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Initial Impressions: Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum and Sibu Sea Buckthorn Oil

Although I think I'm coming closer to figuring out what my skin needs to be happy, I've still been struggling dry skin and my long history of sun exposure (lifeguards are supposed to be tan, so no sunscreen--duh!....). In an attempt to ameliorate those two problems, I picked up the Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum and Sibu Sea Buckthorn Oil. I haven't been using them very long, but here are my initial thoughts on each:

Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum:
The main impetus behind buying this serum is that Vitamin C is known to help with sun damage and is thought to protect from UV damage as well. This particular serum also includes ferulic acid, which, when combined with vitamin C, ups the ante on vitamin C's protective effects. I love that this company provides links to the studies by which they make their claims, too!

Mad Hippie's serum also includes ingredients such as vitamin E (which also boost Vitamin C's effects), chamomile (natural skin soother), and clary sage (helps balance oil production, thus reducing breakouts).

My initial impression: I've used this serum for about a week now, and initially I was layering it under my daytime moisturizer (Andalou's white tea moisturizer) for day and under my favorite Badger Beauty Balm at night. I found this this double action really dried out my skin, so I scaled it back to once a day, which has really helped.

So far I haven't seen any immediate benefits, but I know from my research that it typically takes this product 3-4 weeks to show an impact on your skin. I noticed that right away I had an increase in small whiteheads, but this has already subsided as my skin has adjusted to the product. I will say that my skin seems to be softer, but that may be just because I'm searching for benefits :)

The bottle is a good size (30ml), and you only need about 2 drops to cover your whole face. I spritz my face with my Andalou Naturals toner, then apply this while my face is still damp, and it spreads easily and absorbs quickly. It's a soothing, cool liquid with the consistency of a typical serum (meaning, more viscous than an oil but much less than a cream).

All in all, I haven't seen any obvious benefits yet (but again, am reserving judgment for a few weeks), but neither has my sensitive, finicky skin had a real problem with it once I figured out how often I could use it. So for that alone, I'm giving this product a tentative thumbs up! :)

Ingredients: Deionized water, Vitamin C (sodium ascorbyl phosphate), akyl benzoate, vegetable glycerin, water, glycerin sodium levulinate, sodium anisate, clary sage (salvia sclarea), grapefruit (citrus grandis), hyaluronic acid, amorphophallus konjac root powder, aloe barbadensis leaf, vitamin E (tocotrienol), ferulic acid, chamomile flower extract (recutita matricaria), sodium phytate, xanthum gum, hydroxyethylcellulose (list per Vitacost--I couldn't find it on Mad Hippie's site, which I don't like...)

Update: More thoughts on this product can be found here! 

Sibu Sea Buckthorn Oil:
Like I said, I've been struggling with dry skin all winter, and confusingly also with breakouts (perhaps because I've been testing so many products). I love my Badger balm for night time, but by mid-day my skin seems very dry and dull. Enter sea buckthorn oil.

I bought this somewhat on a whim yesterday because I had a Whole Foods giftcard and it was on sale for $9 (usually about $16).  After doing a little research, I learned that sea buckthorn is a berry grown in Tibet, and it's said to have great healing and moisturizing properties and that it's great for rosacea and eczema. Sounds right up my alley!

My initial impression: 
I was surprised by the deep orangey-gold color of this oil, but upon application it didn't turn my skin colors or anything crazy like that. The bottle is surprisingly tiny (10ml), but it seems like a little dab'll do ya.

I put it on yesterday afternoon after I showered our puppy, so my skin was damp. I have 3 big zits in various stages of recovery right now (sad face...), and this morning I noticed that 2 out of the three were greatly reduced in size and in inflammatory color. The third one, to be fair, is still at full-tantrum, but the other two, which are subsiding, were improved by this oil. My skin also feels well-nourished and today, even though I didn't change my routine at all otherwise (meaning, I didn't apply the oil for day yet), my skin appears less dull and dry than it did yesterday.

I've heard that this oil can make some select people breakout. Some people get small whiteheads at first then clear skin, while others just have a bad reaction to it no matter how long they use it. I'm curious to see if this happens to me, but if it doesn't, I think I'll be very happy with this oil.

Ingredients: 100% therapeutic-grade Sea Buckthorn Seed Oil 

For the record, my skin is typically dry but prone to breakouts. I'm allergic to jojoba oil, and my skin doesn't tolerate coconut oil, rosehip oil, or shea butter very well.

Have you ever tried either of these products? What were your experiences?

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