Browsing Tag

Hyaluronic acid


Vichy & La Roche-Posay Skincare

I’ve been a fan of French pharmacy skincare products for almost a decade now, since my Parisian friend introduced me to them at university.  Over the years I have tried products by two of the most popular brands, Vichy and La Roche-Posay but I wasn’t aware of just how extensive and prescriptive the ranges were until Handpicked Media hosted an evening at  B.HIVE in Covent Garden to present the entire skin and body care products.

Representing the two brands, the very knowledgable Julia Ward talked us through every range and product in close detail and Steph Marston recommended products that would suit my skin type and produce results.

Both brands are developed expertly by dermatologists and focus on the benefits of thermal water from different geological sources.  Vichy uses thermal spa water filtered through volcanic layers while La Roche-Posay includes thermal spring water from a source in a small French town of the same name.  This healing water is the base of the products and helps keep skin calm and comfortable.

Over the past few months, I have been testing a selection of products prescribed for my skin type – combination with occasional break-outs.  I’ve enjoyed using La Roche-Posay Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel for Oily and Sensitive Skin.  Free from soap, alcohol, parabens and colours, the foaming gel thoroughly cleanses without drying the skin and leaves it feeling clean and comfortable.

I follow this with Vichy Aqualia Thermal Serum, which claims to intensively hydrates the skin for 48 hours.  I’ve never been keen on serums due to the sticky, synthetic texture of some products that seem to sit on the skin, but this thermal spa water-based serum with hyaluronic acid is a real treat.  It absorbs quickly and prepares the skin nicely for moisturiser, or it can be worn alone.  I can’t imagine it not being a part of my daily skincare routine now and I plan to try other products from this range.

For a regular day, I use La Roche-Posay Effaclar Mat Sebo-Regulating Moisturiser.  This light gel-creme aims to reduce pores and sebum flow, keeping skin matt and calm.  I haven’t noticed my pores getting smaller yet, but I find that it hydrates my skin well and helps combat oiliness during the day.  It feels less astringent, medicinal and drying than other mattifying moisturisers I’ve tried, so it is less likely to irritate sensitive skin.

My favourite discovery has been Vichy Normaderm Total Mat – an effective hydrating gel that targets sebum and sweat.  The light-weight gel has a cooling, menthol anti-perspirant effect on the skin, yet it’s not at all drying.  Normaderm Total Mat is formulated to perform well in extreme heat, so it is perfect for wearing at the gym, during summer heatwaves or for a stressful job interview.  It also works well for clammy palm moments.

At night, I like to use something a little more nourishing and La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra has worked well for this.  Specially created for very sensitive skin, it intensely soothes the skin with the most simple, minimal ingredients to avoid irritation.  This product wasn’t prescribed for my skin type and is too rich to wear during the day, but as a night cream it leaves my skin feeling smooth and plump.

Of course, it’s early days to comment on the long-term skin benefits, but currently the Vichy and La Roche-Posay products make my skin feel comfortable and calm, which is a big priority for me.

A new Vichy product to look out for is the Idéalia Smoothing and Illuminating Cream, an anti-ageing cream to suit women of all ages and all skin types, available for Dry or Normal/Combination Skin.  When the warm weather returns, I’m looking forward to trying the Anthelios AC Fluid Extreme 30+, which provides sun protection without the irritating greasiness for combination to oily skin.

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* PR samples


The Pursuit of Radiance: Caudalie Vinoperfect

Caudalie is one of my long-term favourite skin care brands and my first introduction to the brand was once again, my chic Parisian friend, who kept a bottle of the Beauty Elixir in her make-up bag.

In awe of the secret ‘know how’ that French girls always seem to have, I picked up a Beauty Elixir spray on a trip to Paris and continue to use it today.  Used by Queen Isabelle of Hungary (a presumably radiant creature with invisible pores), Beauty Elixir instantly refreshes the skin, tightens pores and helps to set make-up.

In the pursuit of extra radiance, I tried out the new Caudalie Vinoperfect Cell Renewal Night Cream (£38) and Caudalie Vinoperfect Enzymatic Peel Mask (£29).

Both newly-formulated products contain a high concentration of Viniferine (the patented vine extract) that works with a ‘smoothing bio-peeling’ complex of papaya enzyme and glycolic acid to gently exfoliate the skin and reveal radiance, while hydrating with grape-seed oil and Hyaluronic acid.

They are suitable for all skin types, addressing concerns for each type, and help to deeply detoxify, renew skin, and eliminate dark spots.

The night cream has a medium-rich consistency and once massaged into the skin, I could feel an abundance of hydration, leaving my skin feeling plump and dewy.  In the morning, my skin felt comfortable, nourished and calm.

The enzymatic peel mask had even more significant, surprising results.  I applied the mask for ten minutes in the evening and followed with the night cream.  In the morning, my skin not only felt smoother, but it was a lot more even and had noticeable radiance.

My skincare performance standards are high, especially when it comes to claims from mid to high end brands, so to see such outstanding results from the mask was an absolute delight.  I’ve been using it twice a week now and have made it part of my regular routine.  Caudalie just got even better!

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Eucerin Hyaluron Filler Anti-Ageing Range


Eucerin Hyaluron Filler has already proved a best-selling anti-ageing range in Europe, winning the Marie-Claire Prix d’Excellence de la Beaute 2008 and has now made its way to the UK.

My ‘in the know’ Parisian friend first introduced me to Eucerin around 8 years ago and since then, I’ve always picked up a few Eucerin products in the Paris parapharmacies and believed it to be a French brand.  In fact, Eucerin is a German dermo-cosmetic brand, founded in 1900 by Dr Lifschütz and formulated to target specific skin conditions.

So, to get the technical side over first, how does it work?  Eucerin Hyaluon Filler contains two active ingredients – saponin and hyaluronic acid.  Saponin stimulates the skin’s own production of hyaluronic acid, which can lead to increased collagen synthesis and sustained results.

The hyaluronic acid in the treatments tops up the skin’s own supply and provides an instant plumping effect on wrinkles and fine lines.  The two ingredients work together to produce long-term results and a more instant tightened and toned feeling.

My main skin concern is tackling t-zone oiliness and preventing breakouts, which are partly hormonal and partly brought on by the stress and elemental factors of living in London.  Over the past year, I’ve tried skincare ranges targeting these concerns, all with varying results.  At the age of 27, I’ve started seeing small signs of ageing, so I figured it was time to stop worrying about the break-outs and tackle a whole new skin issue!

My hero product was the Eucerin Hyaluron Filler Eye Cream (£21.96), which has an instant tightening, draining effect – perfect for giving your eyes a burst of energy in the morning.  The eye cream isn’t too rich or oily, but it packs more of a punch than lighter gel-cremes.

Another favourite was the Eucerin Hyaluron Filler Concentrate (£30.63), which can be used twice a day under the day cream to enhance the anti-ageing effects.

The Concentrate comprises 6 ampoules, each containing a week’s worth of serum, although I found that they actually go much further than the stated amount.  The little silver bottles looks reassuringly scientific and I liked that they are secure enough to take away when travelling, as many serums are relegated to the bedside table and let down by inadequate packaging.

This serum was a delight to use, as it sunk in quickly and prepared the skin for moisturising.  If you’re afraid that adding a serum to your beauty regime would mean too many layers of product (like I did), you can be assured that the Concentrate doesn’t clog the pores or just lie there on the skin.

The Eucerin Hyaluron Filler Day Cream (£25.52) was too rich for me to wear during the day, but it would be ideal for normal to dry skin types and contains SPF 15 and UVA protection.

For the daytime, I tried the Eucerin Hyaluron Filler Light Day Cream (£25.52) for Normal/Combination Skin with SPF 15 and UVA protection.  This had a nice cooling effect and provided a good, tacky base for applying make-up.  Being critical, I’d like the formulation to be even lighter, as a light application worked well for me, but I imagine it might still be a bit too much for more oily combination skin.

Some skincare brands suggest keeping the skin light and breathable at night time, but as I go super light during the day (to avoid the skin cream and make-up meltdown), I need something more nourishing at night to repair my skin.  Eucerin Hyaluron Filler Night Cream (£25.52) is rich, luxurious and very hydrating.  It doesn’t feel overly oily, so a thin layer can work well even for more oily skin.

I would need longer a longer trial of the Eucerin Hyaluron Filler to report on the anti-ageing results, but each day, my skin felt more taut and toned.  The eye cream had particularly impressive short-term results and all of the products tested made my skin feel comfortable and hydrated.

Have you tried the Eucerin Hyaluron Filler range yet?  What are your thoughts on the use of hyaluronic acid in skincare treatments?

Eucerin Hyaluron Filler collection is available at Boots.  For more info, visit:

Beauty, London, Salon

Guest Post: Skin Poetry at John Tsagaris Clinic

Kara Belleville discovers a natural Chinese way to radiant skin at the John Tsagaris Clinic, Knightsbridge…

The guru who introduced natural Botox through facial acupuncture had almost every beauty editor in a spin. The youthful, bright and plump skin led to panic blocking his one hour sessions with an all together different kind of needle.

At John’s uber fabulous new Knightsbridge Clinic the latest treatment involves again his masterful hands (two huge balls of energy), his experience and wisdom of facial Shiatsu and the modern science of Hyaluronic acid. No needles. I am relieved.

Skin Poetry starts with facial shiatsu which invigorates facial energy and blood circulation. The facial muscles are then stretched and relaxed releasing all tension around the eyes.  This is great if in the midst of a thumping migraine.

The Hyaluronic acid helps to drain puffiness and fluid retention giving a brighter, less stressed complexion.

I love that this treatment is called Skin Poetry – after a month of new year dieting, my skin poem was ‘grey is how my face starts the day’.

John, being a doctor in Chinese medicine draws from ancient therapies of a time gone by but these therapies create treatments which deliver healthy beautiful skin – timeless skin bliss!

I am booking in for my next 30 minute Skin Poetry (£110), as a monthly treat to keep my skin looking fresh and plump, the start of a healthy skin poem.

For more information on the Skin Poetry treatment, visit: