Thursday, 5 April 2018

Medik8 C-Tetra Vitamin C+E Serum

This brand was recommended to me by the lovely Victoria Partridge who is a wonderful facialist in Oxford (go check her out, she is incredible – IG handle: victoriapartridge_facialist). She raved about the excellent formulas and how effective they were considering the price point, so I had to investigate. Their products aren't 'cheap' but they aren't crazily priced either, especially for a pharmaceutical brand. I feel that they are rather underrated and aren't that well known despite them being ‘world renowned’. Either way I am so glad I jumped on the bandwagon and bought a few things because I have been mega impressed by them! I already love the Pore Refining Toner, Blemish Pads and Hydr8 B5 serum…

Their products are scientifically and clinically developed by a team of biochemists and pharmacologists in the UK. They are blended by hand in small batches within a laboratory to ensure the freshness and potency of the ingredients and are only sold through professional outlets. Although available through distributors online they are a dedicated professional only brand which essentially means they are sold through doctor’s offices, skincare clinics etc. For some reason this always gives me a certain confidence that the products will deliver!

Their aim is to provide solutions for skin concerns such as skin aging, acne, redness, pigmentation and dryness. They have tailored ranges to suit specific needs and offer different strengths depending on your requirements. I like that they understand one size doesn’t fit all and you can choose the option best suited to you.

Medik8 have 2 vitamin c serums available and both are low irritation, ultra-stable formulas. They come in 2 strengths. C-Tetra (the one I use) is 3% Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate and the other version is CE-Tetra and is 7% Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate. Ultimately both are designed to offer similar results but the C-Tetra is for people in their mid-20’s to 40’s whilst CE-Tetra is targeted at those in their mid-30’s to 50’s. If you fall in the middle of the two then I would evaluate your skin needs and environment, it may be better to start off with the lower concentration and work your way up.

I’m not going to go all science geek on you but Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate is not your typical vitamin c. It is apparently the most potent and highly stable derivative of vitamin c available. Meaning that it won’t oxidise or ‘go off’ like many other regular vitamin c products you may have come across. In addition to this C-Tetra will not exfoliate or irritate the skin which has been the issue for me in the past. Despite this C-Tetra has been shown to have 4 times the potency of L-ascorbic acid and other derivatives such as MAP (magnesium ascorbylphosphate). Sounds pretty good but does it deliver? Yes. Yes, it does.

As with most vitamin c serum’s C-Tetra promises to protect the skin from free radicals, minimise pigmentation, prevent premature skin aging and stimulate the synthesis of new collagen and elastin. I personally use vitamin c for a few reasons at the moment. Mainly to brighten my often dull and sallow complexion and help reduce pigmentation/scarring from blemishes. I’m also aware that an antioxidant serum helps protect from sun-induced damage and while I use an SPF daily it’s nice to know that my skin is getting an extra boost of protection.

Now onto my thoughts! I’ve been consistently using C-Tetra for a while now. Since around September last year to be exact! I am still on the same bottle FYI but it has nearly finished. Every morning without fail I have been applying 4 drops direct onto my face. Despite thinking others were crazy for squeezing product direct from the pipette, I now happily do this knowing that I am not wasting any product or at risk of it being absorbed into my hands. I want all that goodness on my skin! The serum is a watery clear fluid and very runny so I tend to get better results applying it directly.

The first thing that immediately impressed me was how easily it spreads and absorbs into the skin. Pretty much instantly without any tackiness or sticky feeling. Next is the glow! To be honest I think this is mainly what has kept me reaching for it day after day. The glow is insane. Not greasy or shiny skin just brighter and more radiant. It’s kind of addictive! For someone that is oily/dehydrated I am constantly trying to find a balance so I’m glowy but not shiny! This effect is exactly what I am after and I love it when a product offers some kind of immediate result.

Although it leaves skin comfortable and fresh I would not use this solely for hydration. I tend to pair it with a hyaluronic acid serum so I get everything I need. It works extremely well layered with other products and I have found it easy to mix with anything else I may be using. Due to this it fits into your routine nicely and you can play around in terms of where it goes and what you use it with. I personally use after a toner/essence and then follow with another serum to target whatever other separate concern I have.

I’ve tried lots of vitamin c serums in the past but C-Tetra has given me the most significant long-term results by far. Over time it has helped reduce some pigmentation I had on my cheeks and has generally evened out my skin tone. I wish I had taken some pictures of my skin before using this because I think I would see a real difference being that it’s 6 months or so since I first introduced it.

With some serums you can be using them for a while but never really know what they are doing. With this it’s the opposite. You can see an immediate difference in dullness but also begin to see bigger changes within weeks. It really ticks all the boxes for me when it comes to an antioxidant/vitamin c serum and it will be hard to move away from this. From a price point I think it’s pretty hard to beat. I love that it doesn’t oxidise and it doesn’t have to be kept in a fridge! Which is the case with many vitamin c serums. Anything that starts to expire quickly is generally a no from me because I hate the inconvenience. It is rather unique in that sense.
Key Ingredients: 3% concentration of Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate (Vitamin C) and 1% concentration of Tocopherol (Vitamin E)
Simmondsia Chinensis Oil, Cyclopentasiloxane, Cyclohexasiloxane, 3% Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, 1% Tocopherol (d-Alpha), Citrus Grandis (grapefruit) and Limonene.
For anyone who is on the hunt for a new vitamin c/AM serum but is a bit afraid of ‘actives’ or doesn’t want the worry of it causing disruption to your existing routine, then I urge you to try this. Your skin will thank you. It can be purchased from a few online retailers but Beauty Flash have a 20% offer on at the moment, so it’s £28.80 which is amazing! Link here.  

If you do try this I would love to know your thoughts! I am excited to try more from the brand. To be honest I want everything but I specifically have my eye on the Retinol 3TR serum, PoreCleanse Gel and Firewall serum.

Thanks for reading xx

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

My Breakout Arsenal!

Recently I got a couple of spots which were seemingly larger than the usual type I get, so I did a little experiment with some of the products in my stash to see how quickly I could heal them. The results were surprising and I was chuffed to bits that with these products I could heal fairly big spots in a matter of 2 days, so I just had to share!

These were the steps I took and the order I used them. This is mainly the routine I followed in the evening but you could extract certain steps and apply them in the morning for double the effect.

Mud Mask:

After using a gentle non-stripping cleanser I like to use a clay/mud mask on the affected areas like a spot treatment. This is a constant step I take whenever a spot appears no matter how big or small. I apply a thin layer to individual spots and wait for around 10 mins. I like to use this time to do other things so I am being productive!
This Glamglow Super Mud Clearing Treatment contains a blend of charcoal and 6 acids (glycolic acid, salicylic acid, lactic acid, mandelic acid, pyruvic acid, and tartaric acid) to help de-congest the skin and minimise redness. I personally couldn’t use this all over my face as it is strong and quite potent, but when applied to spots individually it’s marvellous at calming them down and drawing out the crap so to speak. If used consistently morning and night this helps flatten the ‘lumps’ and reduces soreness.
My other recommended options are Ren Clearcalm, L’Oreal Pure Clay Detox and Una Brennan Pore Purifying. 

Repairing Serums:

Next I applied the Dr Jart Tiger Grass Re:Pair Serum to reduce redness and soothe the sore spots. This is a fairly new discovery for me but one that I am so happy I’ve got on hand. It’s designed to calm skin and aid wound recovery. It contains mineral and herb complexes to support the skin’s barrier and soothe skin. Whenever I get breakouts I will be sure to reach for this. It definitely assists in speeding up the healing process and left my skin a lot calmer. This would be good for those wanting to repair/prevent any damage caused by picking, because let’s face it we all do it from time to time! It’s cooling and feels amazing when it touches the skin.

The next serum I used is the Alpha H VitaminB with Copper Tri-Peptide, the ingredients list is antioxidant heaven and it’s a real powerhouse product. This blue liquid contains Niacinamide, Ferulic Acid, Copper Peptides, Hyaluronic Acid and Chia Seed extract. All of which help to strengthen the skins barrier and encourage cell renewal. I use this daily anyway but it is especially effective at helping heal the skin and prevent scarring. It is super cooling on the skin as well and instantly plumps it up. This is an excellent choice for aging skin that is misbehaving.

Facial Oil:

Now you may think this a strange step to choose when breaking out but seriously the effects of using an oil are hugely beneficial for blemished skin. Alkimi Cinco is currently my go to and has been recently reviewed by me (see my previous blog post here). This is a fantastic facial oil for oily/combination skin types. I find this reduces inflammation and when I apply on individual spots it helps bring them to a head or flatten them to practically nothing. I am currently loving facial oils that heal the skin and are high in linoleic acid. By using a facial oil dedicated to your skin type it can do wonders. Caroline Hirons did a good video with Votary on the benefits of using an oil when breaking out, I’d recommend watching it as its interesting and certainly changed my view on how I heal spots!
Essentially you don’t want to be ‘drying’ the area out which is what leads to scarring. Another fantastic oil to mention is Balmology Skin Remedy which is also amazing for unruly skins. I used up a whole bottle of it last year. Other oil’s that fall into this category are Sunday Riley UFO, Herbivore Lapis and Votary Clarifying Facial Oil. None of those I have used but I’ve heard many rave reviews. 

Acne Patches:

Not essential but for me a must have. These Cosrx Pimple Master Patches are incredible. I use one of these overnight every time I get a spot which is unhappy and sore. They don’t tend to work as well for whiteheads or large cysts but for those spots that fall in the middle category they are awesome. These hydrocolloid stickers create an invisible barrier to prevent the spread of bacteria and infection. They work to draw out impurities and speed up the life cycle. If I am at home without makeup I like to leave one on all day to work its magic and it stops me from constantly wanting to look at it and touch it. I find these patches so effective at calming the spot down, drawing out any redness and generally healing the spot fast. Some have known to disappear overnight! I think these need to be in everyone’s stash, they come in different sizes to accommodate whatever monster may crop up on your face.

So, there you have it. A breakdown of products I used to heal the unwelcome visitors that popped up on my face in the last week! You can pretty much tweak the steps to fit in with your regime but I will be sticking to this routine going forward as it worked for me. I hope you've found it helpful!

What tips do you have for healing blemishes?

Thanks for reading xx