It’s a good think that I discovered ZO Skin Health Offects Sulfur Masque. It came in very handy when Vichy LiftActiv Supreme Day Cream for Normal to Combination Skin gave me one of the worst breakouts I have ever experienced.
Just a few days after I started using it, my chin and jawline were dotted with huge and red pimples that simply refused to budge until I took out the sulfur. The worst part? I should have known this would happen when I spotted isopropyl isostearate near the top of the ingredients list.
My skin so does NOT like isopropyl anything. Isopropyl myristate and isopropyl palmitate have always turned my face into a war zone. But, even though my skin has slowly started to produce more oil again, and went from dry back to slightly combo, I thought I could risk it. Apparently not. Whatever type it is, my skin wants nothing to do with them.
Before I go any further, let me reassure you. Just because the cream made my skin breakout, it doesn’t mean it’ll do the same to you. I know many ladies who use it without any problems. But, if your skin, too, has a predisposition to develop pimples when exposed to isopropyl anything, then stay well away.
Breakouts aside, Vichy LiftActiv Supreme Day Cream did a good job at moisturizing and brigtening my skin. The rest of my face, those areas not covered in pimples, were softer to the touch and looked a lot smoother. That’s thanks to silicones, which fill in fine lines and wrinkles WITHOUT suffocating skin (skin doesn’t have lungs, so you can’t suffocate it even if you tried), making them look smaller.
My skin also looked radiant. It had that lit-from-within glow, you know? This was all the result of hydration. When skin is hydrated, it looks so much better. But, hydrating skin is pretty much all this moisturizer does. It certainly can’t lift it, as the name implies. And it seriously lacks antioxidants, so it won’t do much for premature aging, either.
The only ingredient worthy of note is rhamnose. It’s a sugar, and we all know that eating sugar isn’t the best thing for skin (life sucks sometimes, doesn’t it?), so I didn’t expect it to do anything. It’s there for marketing purposes, I thought.
Again, I was wrong. A bit of research unearthed something interesting. Turns out, rhamose is a cell-communicating ingredient. That’s scientific jargon for a substance that can tell cells how to behave. In this case, rhamose can tell fibroblast-producing cells to, well, produce more fibroblasts. Those little thingies are what create the collagen in our skin, and collagen is what keeps skin elastic, so the more the better.
The only problem is that these studies were done in vitro, ie in a petri dish, so we don’t know how well rhamnose works when applied on the skin. One thing is sure, though. Skin doesn’t need just one anti-aging ingredient. It needs plenty. That’s why I’d be a lot more excited about this cream if it also contained vitamin C, or retinol, or niacinamide (and didn’t turn my face into a battlefield).
What about the texture? For a day cream, it’s pretty thick. I’m surprised this is for combo skin, as texture-wise, it seems formulated for dry skin, if you know what I mean? And that, despite the addition of alcohol to thin out the formula!
The alcohol didn’t irritate nor dry out my skin (probably because the rest of the formula is so moisturizing and counteracts those effects), but it’s still something to be wary of if you have sensitive skin. The other thing those with sensitive skin need to be careful with is the scent: it’s medicinal-fresh and subtle, but may cause irritations in some people.
Oh, I was almost forgetting. The thick texture absorbs pretty quickly, without leaving a greasy or shiny residue behind. So, that, at least, is good.
Instead, I have mixed feelings about the packing. The jar itself doesn’t bother me much. There’s not much here that can be spoilt by exposure to light and air. But it looks way too simple and, well, a bit tacky for something that costs £25. But I love the cap has a mirror on top. Isn’t that cool?