Are you tired of being sold the supposedly amazing benefits of this exotic fruit or that super rare flower that grows only in that faraway, uncontaminated island at midnight? We all know they don’t work.
What works is vitamins, antioxidants, alpha hydroxy acids, and exfoliating enzymes. Less exciting, maybe, but, much, much more effective.
This is why I am so excited to have discovered Nimue. It’s a cosmeceuticals brand that uses all the right stuff, so you know you’re not throwing your money away.
Of course, some of the products are better than others, so let’s take a closer look at the brand to figure out what’s worth splurging on (and what isn’t):
The first step of skincare is ALWAYS cleansing, so it’s only fitting that I talk about the Cleansing Milk first. White in colour, it has a lightweight consistency that easily removes dirt and most makeup (it struggles a bit with the waterproof kind), leaving skin clean and soft.
Basically, it does everything a cleanser is supposed to do, so I’m happy with it. Technically, it should go the extra mile because it also contains exfoliating acids and antioxidants, but, sadly these simply end up down the drain when you rinse off the cleanser.
By the way, you have to do that with gauze. Yep, first you massage the cleansing milk on with wet fingers, and then you take it off with damp gauze swabs (pss, a couple of times I just used my hands – it worked well, too).
This is called conditioner, but it’s really a toner, and a pretty good one at that. If you’re a regular here, you know that I’m not a big fan of toners, because, let’s face it, most of them do nothing for your skin, and some (those loaded with alcohol and little else) can actually harm it.
In this toner, alcohol is nowhere in sight. Instead, Conditioner Lite is rich in antioxidants, such as green tea and vitamin C, that can prevent wrinkles. The form of vitamin C used here, sodium ascorbyl phosphate, can also help with acne.
Studies have shown that, in concentrations of 1% of higher, it can kill the bacteria that causes acne. And, it’s the third ingredient on the list, so it’s high likely there’s a little more than 1% here.
Vitamin C can make skin more susceptible to sun damage (so ironic, as it helps treat it, too), which is why Nimue warns you to use the toner together with sunscreen. But, then, you’re already using sunscreen every day, right?
Back to the toner, it leaves my skin softer and brighter (that’s the vitamin C again) and, in the long run, helps me age slowly, too. It’s just a bit weird to use. It’s a lightweight that gel that sorts of foams when you put it on.
It’s not foam, but, it looks like it because when you spread it on, it leaves these white patches on your skin. They disappear as you pat it in, though, and the results are well worth the weirdness!
This is my least fave product in this range, mostly because I’m a lazy bugger. What do I mean? Well, you’re supposed to put this exfoliant on, wait 2 minutes, and then reactivate it by massaging skin with wet fingertips for 3-5 minutes. Finally, you rinse well with water saturated gauze.
That’s way too much work for me, when I can just put a glycolic acid based exfoliant on at night and forget all about it till the next morning, when I wake up with smoother and glowier skin. Told you, I’m a lazy bugger.
But, maybe you want to try an enzyme based exfoliant, so let me tell you all about this one. What the heck is an enzyme based exfoliant? It’s an exfoliant that uses enzymes from fruits, such as pineapple and papaya (the two used here), to dissolve the proteins that keep old, dead cells still attached to your skin.
This way, they can easily be removed, and reveal the smoother and brighter skin underneath. And, my skin was indeed smoother and brighter after using it.
But, while I was massaging it, my skin was starting to become warm. I wondered if, maybe, it could be irritated, so I massaged it for a bit less than the instructions recommend, but, nope, my skin was perfectly fine.
This is something to keep in mind if you have sensitive skin. Although enzymes are often touted as a gentler alternative to chemical exfoliants, they can still irritate skin.
In any case, don’t use it more than 2 or 3 times a week. Too much exfoliation is never a good thing.
Compared to the other products in the line, this moisturizer sounds pretty basic. Most of the antioxidants and exfoliating acids (like glycolic and lactic) are far from the top of the list, which means they are present in small amounts that can only help a little.
Besides, the jar packaging would compromise their efficacy in the long run. Although, the jar comes with a spatula, so at least, it’s hygienic.
What Nimue Day really does, and does very well, is hydrate skin. It contains sweet almond oil, which can lock moisture into the skin, keeping it hydrated. And, as I never tire of repeating these days, hydration really is the key to flawless skin.
Hydration plumps up skin so that fine lines and wrinkles look smaller. It makes skin super soft to the touch. And, it gives it a healthy glow. All things this moisturizer did really well. I just wish it did a bit more. What can I say? The rest of the line did spoil me.
Oh, I was almost forgetting. Its texture is creamy and not that rich, so it sinks quickly into the skin. There’s no greasy residue afterwards, and it didn’t make me breakout, either.
The name says it all. This stuff is super moisturizing. The hero here is shea butter, which creates a barrier that locks moisture in. Studies says its effective for 8 hours, but I can vouch that’s a lie. It works for a lot longer than that!
What’s even cooler about this moisturizer is the inclusion of glycolic acid. An exfoliant that also hydrates skin and boosts collagen production, glycolic acid can smooth out skin, reduce the appearance of wrinkles and make skin look brighter.
My skin looked better just after I started using it. It was noticeably smoother and glowy, and it seems that little bit firmer, too. Although it comes in a jar (with its own spatula, too), this is one of my fave products in the line. It it really made a big difference in how my skin looks and feels. I am just super quick at closing that lid!
Its texture is quite lightweight, too (especially for something that contains shea butter), and sinks quickly into the skin. It feels refreshing and not sticky at all.
Sun-C SPF 40
It’s been ages since I last used a chemical sunscreen. I had almost forgotten how lightweight and fast-absorbing they are compared to mineral sunscreens. And, they leave no white cast behind.
This one still has one mineral sunscreen ingredient, titanium dioxide. Actually, nanoparticle titanium dioxide, which are pretty controversial, but safe. At least, I haven’t come across any proof they are bad yet. Titanium Dioxide protects well against both UVA and UVB rays, but there isn’t much of it here.
But, don’t worry, it’s loaded with other sunscreen agents. Octocrylene and Ensulizole protect against UVB rays. Avobenzone against UVA rays. Tinosorb S from both. And, like octocrylene, tinsorb S also helps protect avobenzone from degradation (it breaks down when exposed to sunlight, which is why we have to reapply sunscreen so often).
This is one of those sunscreens that feels comfortable on the skin, and protects it well, so you don’t have to worry about sunburns or wrinkles (unless you forget to reapply it or don’t apply enough in the first place). It also contains a sprinkle of antioxidants, which is always good to see. But, again, I wish for more. What can I say? I’m addicted to antioxidants.
All the products are fragrance-free, which is great news if you have sensitive skin. Of course, that doesn’t mean they don’t have an odour. Every ingredient has one after all, and that’s not always pretty.
So yeah, some of these products don’t smell all that nice, but at least their natural scents are subtle, so they didn’t really bother me. Better use a not-that-great-smelling product that works than a beautifully fragrance one that doesn’t, right?
Basically, if you’re ready to dip your foot and face into cosmeceuticals, then Nimue would be a great place to start. If you can only try one product, make it the Conditioner Light (if you have oily skin) or Moisturiser Plus (if you have dry skin). You won’t be disappointed.
EDIT 09/07/16: I’ve talked to the brand, and they said that all moisturizers come in both jars and tubes for now, so you can choose the type of packaging you prefer (get the tube!). In the future (within the next 18 months) only airless tubes will be available.