How do you make your skincare routine more natural without giving up on the best science has to offer?
Elixseri got you covered: they scour the world for plants and marine organisms that survive in the most hostile places (think cactus and jellyfish) and then use biotechnology to extract their anti-aging molecules and make them small enough to penetrate your skin so they can work their magic.
Each of their five serums uses 3 unique classes of ingredients (but each one has a different member of that class – cos we all have different needs and not one size fits all):
- Swiss Alpine Crystallised Light Water: This water is light, very fluid and able to carry active ingredients deeper into the skin.
- Meristem Concentrates (Plant Stem Cells): Powerful antioxidants that fight the free radicals that cause premature aging.
- Prebiotic Tropical Fruit Ferments: Fermentation of whole fruits, like papaya and noni, converts their sugars into cellular energy, increases their amounts of nutrients and makes them small enough to penetrate your skin.
Something else these ingredients have in common? They’re safe for sensitive skin. Elixseri prefers to use natural extracts from organisms, like cactus, that never had much contact with people so they didn’t build up their defenses against our skin and are less likely to irritate it.
They also don’t believe in high concentrations of one or two powerful actives. Instead, they create natural cocktails that can go deeper into your skin. You know, go where they need to do the work.
One more thing: if you’re wondering why I’m talking about their serums only, that’s all the brand does.
Yep, no cleansers. No toners. No moisturizers. Just serums. Why?
Serums are the workhorses of skincare: they use a higher concentration of actives and deliver it deeper into the skin.
Basically, they work better and faster than any other skincare product (I’ve already written a post about my love for serums and why they’re a must – check it out).
Ok, preamble over. The science’s cool but you want to know if this stuff works, right? I’ve tried 3 of the 5 serums in the line: Opening Act, Smooth Player, and Rescue Diver. Here’s what happened:
Elixseri Opening Act
The opening act of any good skincare routine is exfoliation. Ok, ok, you do cleanse your skin first but exfoliation does open the way for the rest of your routine.
Exfoliation removes the dead cells and impurities that accumulate on your skin on a daily basis. Without that wall of bricks to get through, whatever you apply next is able to penetrate deeper – and thus work better – into your skin.
Exfoliation also gives your skin a smoother texture, a softer feel and a brighter glow.
Elixseri Opening Act uses a combination of AHAs (including lactic, tartaric and mandelic acids) to dissolve the “glue” that holds skin cells together so they can slough off your skin.
Fermented papaya extract gives the acids a helping hand at exfoliating the skin. Plus, it has anti-inflammatory properties that soothe down any potential irritation sensitive skin may get from exfoliation.
Don’t get me wrong. I do think this serum is gentle enough for sensitive skin, but it does help to have an anti-inflammatory in here. 🙂
Did I mention that fermented papaya extract is also full of antioxidants that help fight the free radicals that cause premature aging? It’s a multi-tasker.
The serum has a very fluid, almost runny, texture that sinks quickly into the skin. Oily skin, in particular, will like how lightweight it is.
I usually exfoliate with glycolic acid, but if that’s too strong for you, this is a great alternative. I use it twice a week in the evening straight after cleansing. The brand warns you you might experience some tingling but I don’t (my skin’s used to acids).
It makes my skin so much softer to the touch. It smoothes out its texture so that my pores look a little tighter and my fine lines a little smaller. And it gives my skin a lovely, subtle glow.
If you’re looking for a gentle exfoliant that even sensitive skin can tolerate, this is well worth a try.
Related: Glycolic VS Lactic Acid: Which One Is Right For You?
Don’t know which products and ingredients you can use together? Download the “How To Combine Actives Like A Pro” cheatsheet to find out:
Elixseri Smooth Player
Got dry skin? Then you know what I’m talking about when I complain of those pesky lines and wrinkles that suddenly make an appearance on your skin and refuse to budge.
Let’s be clear: dry skin doesn’t cause wrinkles. But it makes them look way worse. 🙁
Elixseri Smooth Player is formulated to make those annoying wrinkles fade away. How? Hydration.
When your skin has all the hydration it needs, it looks and feel smoother. It plumps up so your fine lines and wrinkles look smaller. And. It. Glows.
The serum contains a high and low molecular weight forms of hyaluronic acid, the powerful magnet that attracts and binds to the skin up to 1000 times its weight in water. The high molecular weight form creates a barrier on the skin that keeps moisture in while the low molecular weight form gets deeper into the skin, hydrating it from within.
It also has its fair share of oils, like jojoba and sunflower, to deeply moisturize and soften skin. But you’d never say it – the serum has such a lightweight texture that doesn’t feel oily or greasy at all. It’s more a lightweight lotion that sinks in quickly into the skin.
These are the smooth players that offer a temporary wrinkle-smoothing effect. They make my fine lines look smaller, suppler and brighter.
But a girl also wants long-term results, you know what I mean? The serum also has noni extract (noni is a fruit native to the Pacific Islands, Southeast Asia that often grows where lava flows) which is loaded with antioxidants. It’s said to both fight free radicals and boost collagen, which keeps skin firm and wrinkle-free.
That’s the natural smooth player. The biotech smooth player is a cone snail peptide called XEP 018. It mimics the muscle-relaxing venom of the Marine Cone Snail. The principle here is simple: if muscles can’t move, they can’t cause wrinkles.
Imo, this type of peptide is useful only to a certain extent. Muscle movements is only one (minor) cause of wrinkles. Plus, it usually works only for people with thinner skin (it’s easier to penetrate).
Still, I can’t blame Elixseri for throwing everything at those pesky wrinkles. And I do feel reassured to know the serum also has some long-term anti-wrinkle effects too (for the price, it’d better!).
Related: Treatment VS Prevention: What Really Works Against Wrinkles
Elixseri Rescue Diver
Did I complain enough about how dry my skin gets during the cold winter months? Ok then.
Think of Rescue Diver as a lifeguard against dehydration. Like Smooth Player, it has hyaluronic acid in varying molecular weights to hydrate both the superficial and deeper layers of your skin.
Plus, the serum has a few other moisture magnets like glycerin, Indian fig and marine collagen derived from jellyfish (it’s the most similar type of collagen to ours – who knew we had so much in common with a jellyfish? 😉 ) to turn up the hydration levels a notch or two.
But Elixseri Rescue Diver isn’t a one trick pony. Fermented papaya extract and gardenia stem cells supercharge the serum with antioxidants, so those pesky wrinkles won’t make an appearance on your face anytime soon.
I use it in the morning on clear skin, then do the rest of my skincare routine before venturing out into the unrelenting cold weather (seriously, can spring get here already?!).
As I leave the house, my skin is soft, plump and glowy. Just like it’s supposed to look after a powerful hydration fix.
A few hours later, my skin still looks great. Instead than getting all tight and dry because the cold weather has sucked all the moisture out of it, it still feels soft and comfortable. Phew!
I’m not sure I will keep using this in the summer months when my skin goes back to normal and doesn’t feel as dry anymore but, for now, it’s definitely a must have for me.
Related: If Your Skin Is Perfectly Hydrated, Do You Still Need To Worry About Anti-Aging?
Price & Availability
Opening Act, £76.00; Rescue Diver, £85.00; Smooth Player, £95.00 at Selfridges
Elixir Opening Act Ingredients
Aqua/[Water]* / Propanediol** / Lactobacillus/Papaya Fruit Ferment Extract / Tapioca Starch / Lactic Acid / Glycerin / Betaine / Morinda Citrifolia Fruit Extract / Polyquaternium-37 / Leontopodium Alpinum Meristem Cell Culture / Hydrolyzed Grape Fruit/[Hydrolyzed Grape Skin] / Hydrolyzed Wheat Bran / Pyrus Malus Fruit Extract/[Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract] / Tartaric Acid / Citrus Limon Fruit Extract/[Citrus Medica Limonum Extract] / Lonicera Caprifolium Flower Extract/[Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract] / Lonicera Japonica Flower Extract/[Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract] / Parfum/[Fragrance]*** / Sodium Lactate / Citric Acid / Sodium Anisate / Sodium Benzoate / Potassium Sorbate / Xanthan Gum
Elixeri Smooth Player Ingredients
Aqua/[Water]* / Lysolecithin / Morinda Citrifolia Fruit Extract / Almond Oil Glycereth-8 Esters / Glycerin / Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil/[Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil] / Simmondsia Chinensis Seed Oil/[Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil] / Lactobacillus/Papaya Fruit Ferment Extract / Sodium PCA / Sodium Hyaluronate / Glycine Max Callus Culture Extract/[Glycine Max (Soybean) Callus Culture] / Capsicum Annuum Fruit Meristem Cell / Oleic/Linoleic/Linolenic Polyglycerides / Plukenetia Volubilis Seed Oil / MU-Conotoxin CNIIIC / Lonicera Caprifolium Flower Extract/[Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract] / Cellulose / Polyacrylic Acid / Butyrospermum Parkii Butter/[Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter)] / Solanum Lycopersicum (Tomato) Fruit Extract / Sodium Anisate / Lonicera Japonica Flower Extract/[Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract] / Candelilla Cera/[Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax] / Coco-Caprylate / Squalane / Tocopherol / Glyceryl Stearate / Parfum/[Fragrance]** / Isoamyl Laurate / Caprylic Acid / Xylitol / Sodium Hydroxide / Citric Acid / Sodium Benzoate / Potassium Sorbate
Elixeri Rescue Diver Ingredients
Aqua/[Water]* / Glycerin / Propanediol** / Lactobacillus/Papaya Fruit Ferment Extract / Sweet Almond Oil Polyglyceryl-6 Esters / Sodium Hyaluronate / Gardenia Jasminoides Meristem Cell Culture / Sea Whip Extract / Opuntia Ficus-Inidica Stem Extract / Soluble Collagen / Chamomilla Recutita Flower Water/[ Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Water] / Coenochloris Signiensis Extract / Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice / Lonicera Caprifolium Flower Extract/[Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract] / Lonicera Japonica Flower Extract/[Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract] / Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride / Cocoyl Proline / Lecithin / Menthyl Lactate / Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer / Sodium Anisate / Maltodextrin / Sodium Benzoate / Sodium Chloride / Potassium Sorbate / Parfum/[Fragrance]*** / Xanthan Gum / Citric Acid