Thursday, 1 May 2014

Review : Decleor Aromessence Mandarine Smoothing Night Balm

As promised many moons ago, here are the ingredients in Decleor's Aromessence Mandarine Smoothing Night Balm (£33.50/15ml). (No fancy botanical names in Latin. Sorry) 

Sunflower Seed Oil - contains Vitamin E. Helps repair the skin and reduce inflammation 
Cera Alba (Beeswax) - thickening agent. Emollient properties
Wheat Germ Oil - emollient
Evening Primrose Oil - anti-inflammatory properties
Coconut Oil - high in fatty acids and acts as an emollient
Chenopodium Quinoa Seed Extract - high in amino acids which helps repair skin
Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) - hydrating
Theobroma Grandiflorum Fruit Extract (Cupuacu Butter) - Contains oleic acid (a fatty acid) which is moisturising and plant polyphenols which act as anti-oxidants. [Says Lush]
Carnauba Wax - thickening agent
Limonene - fragrant. Found in citrus oils
Orange Peel Oil - detoxifies and helps improve skin tone
Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil - used to stabilise products
Rice Bran Wax - occlusive moisturiser (I think?). Forms a barrier over the skin - like mineral oil hm...
Mandarin Orange Peel Oil - Decleor have apparently proven that the anti-oxidant powers of mandarin essential oil helps maintain skins’ youthfulness (in vitro tests)
Grapefruit Extract - anti-oxidant. Can be irritating in large amounts
Linalool - fragrance ingredient
Bergamot Fruit Oil - citrus oil (photo-toxic)
Michelia Alba Leaf Oil - fragrance ingredient
Tocopherol - Vitamin E 
Gardenia Tahitensis Flower - smells nice, not sure what it does in skincare
Litsea Cubeba Fruit Oil - astringent properties
Soybean Oil - helps improve skin tone and is a source of anti-oxidants
Citral - fragrance ingredient
Bitter Orange Flower Oil - may help control oil production
Geraniol, Farnesol, Citronellol - fragrance ingredients

The night balm and the Aromessence Mandarine serum have a number of common ingredients (in orange), like sunflower seed oil and evening primrose oil which are both top five and of course the star ingredient, mandarin essential oil.

It's times like this that I think keeping this log is useful (to me, if not to anyone else lol) because I also noticed that a few of the ingredients are in the cleanser and serum from REN - products which mon visage did not like. Limonene, linalool and tocopherol are at the bottom of the lists so are hardly worth a bother. The balm and Omega 3 serum both contain wheat germ oil and the balm and the clay cleanser both contain sunflower seed oil in the top five ingredients, so I thought one of those could be the cause. I checked my Iris night balm from Decleor and found it has sunflower seed oil and wheat germ oil - yet didn’t give me any problems. In other words: I still have no idea whats wrong with my skin.

Anyhoo as usual I’m going totally off-topic and rambling on about ingredients when a one line review would suffice: I do not like. I tried the new Aroma Lisse products at the beginning of April but stopped after a few days because my skin broke out. At the end of April I thought I’d give this balm another go and in a matter of days, little spotties reappeared…

For that reason I wouldn’t recommend this product. If anything, I’d recommend the Iris night balm (£34.50/15ml) instead. The main ingredients in it are jojoba oil, hazel seed oil, beeswax, sunflower seed oil, shea butter and wheat germ oil so there is some similarity in the formula. (If you wanted the benefits of evening primrose etc. you could buy it as a separate product.) Both ranges are designed to regenerate and hydrate the skin, fight free radical damage and reduce the appearance of wrinkles - but have different target markets. (I wonder if 25-30 year olds were put off using a product recommended for "mature" skin (Jesus Wept I'm not that old/have I aged terribly etc.) and hence the new Mandarine range was born.) I’ve had a better experience with the Iris balm and it’s also free of the potentially irritating citrus extracts.

All Decleor balms are quite waxy, which I don’t mind and find to be quite nice for a little facial massage. My Mom, on the other hand, finds them weird and gross, having used only creams for the last 30 years. It’s definitely worth getting a sample if you’re interested in the Mandarine balm to try out the texture (and in case you have a reaction). The products are pricey but at least Decleor are generous with their samples!

Finally, old customers will be pleased to hear that the packaging of the night balms been re-vamped. The lid on my Iris balm didn’t close properly and was always wonky :/ Very annoying, given how much this little thing cost so in the end I transferred it into another pot. Thankfully, the new jars don’t have this problem :)

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