Well this is a long overdue post. Initially it was supposed to be just a 4 week trial but due to life getting in the way of blogging it’s now turned into an 8 week trial. Which, ultimately, is better when it comes it skin care really.
This year, with turning 40, I’ve been honing my skin care routine. With the amount of products out there it can be somewhat overwhelming. Then on top of that you need to know what type of skin you have, which invariably changes with weather, hormones, stress and dehydration (see my post about what dehydrated skin is and some product recommendations here). So it can be a complete minefield and even more so if you have sensitive skin that doesn’t like changes to your routine. But thankfully I seem to have a good handle on what my skin likes now. (For quick reference I have combination/oily skin prone to sensitivity and dehydration with some signs of ageing).
One of the joys of blogging is that you get to try out skin care that you might not have thought about before. Speaking of which I’ve just started trialing a selection of Elizabeth Grant* skin care, a brand I hadn’t heard of previously but I’m really loving so far. I’ll post a review of that in a couple of weeks time (hopefully!). Anyway, for the last 8 weeks I have been predominantly using a selection of products from Bravura London*. The only deviations from Bravura products have been REN Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask*, Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask, and Boots Botanic All Bright Soothing Eye Makeup Remover (which is an absolute bargain and brilliant too). Everything else has been from Bravura.
Let’s start with the first steps in the skin care routine: cleansing with Bravura First Cleanse Oil*. I’m a big fan of cleansing oils and Bravura’s is very good. Everyone can use a cleansing oil even oily skin types. What I like best about cleansing oils (if you get the right one for your skin) is that they gently but completely remove makeup etc without upsetting the skin’s natural balance. So the reason that you might have oily skin is because you’re cleansing too harshly and the skin’s barrier is overcompensating by producing extra oil. It really is worth trying an oil cleanser if you’ve previously been too scared too. I highly recommend them. Bravura’s cleansing oil contains Safflower oil as the main ingredient, an essential fatty acid that will leave the skin soft and deeply cleansed. There’s also coconut and avocado oil to nourish and the Vitamin E as an antioxidant. There’s also essential oils in there: Chamomile, Lavender and Rosemary. Bravura says that there is low enough content of these oils to still be beneficial while not aggravating skin or eyes. While this didn’t cause any aggravation on my skin it did bother my eyes, hence why I was using the Botanics eye makeup remover. It wasn’t overly stinging but it was uncomfortable enough to make me stop using it to remove eye makeup, which it did wonderfully btw. I do have particularly sensitive eyes though so this might be perfectly fine for you to use as an eye makeup remover. To use Bravura First Cleanse Oil you apply it dry to your face massaging the oil in then you can either use water to wash it away, when it comes into contact with water it turns milky. Or, as I prefer, use a wet muslin cloth (or flannel) to remove. I find this way works much better with oil cleanser plus it gives a gentle exfoliation.
After cleansing I’ve been using Bravura Revitalising Ginseng Toner*. This is an incredibly gentle Alpha Hydroxy Acid toner for normal to dry and sensitive skins. It’ll help refine the look of pores, remove dead skin cells and generally make the skin more “youthful”. This is gentle enough to use everyday and my skin definitely looks refreshed after using this.
Next up is Bravura Hyaluronic Acid Serum* (not shown in the above photo).This is perfect for all skin types. The gel-like texture of this is easily absorbed and provides a perfect base for further moisturisers. I love hyaluronic acid and everyone should add it to their skin care routine. It helps the skin retain moisture, plumps, rehydrates and just generally improves the skins overall complexion. Bravura’s hyaluronic acid is 100% animal free so safe to use for vegetarians. The acid is derived from soya so not suitable for people with soya allergies.
I tried two chemical exfoliators from Bravura, the first one Glycolic Acid 10% (infused with lavender)* unfortunately didn’t get on with my skin but I had an incline that it wouldn’t but I gave it a shot anyway. My skin is just too sensitive for this chemical peel and if you think yours might be too it’s recommended you do a patch test first. You get a little brush to help with even and targeted application, it also stops you using too much product. A thin layer of serum is then applied and the recommended time is between 5-15 minutes. I had to remove the glycolic acid after just a couple minutes because it was tingling so much, it easily washed off with water. What I will say though is that my skin was much brighter and smoother after use but unfortunately this isn’t a product for my skin. However other reviewers love it, and I can see why. It’s a bargain of a product, worth a try if you’re looking to add chemical exfoliation to your routine or are looking for a new exfoliator.
I got on much better with Bravura Lactic Acid 10% (infused with rose)* which is a milder chemical exfoliator than Glycolic acid and also helps retain moisture which is perfect for dry or dehydrated skin. It will also help with acne, pigmentation, sun damage and fine lines. I really love this product and a much welcome addition to my skin care routine. It smells divine, leaves the skin refreshed and I have absolutely no adverse effects with this. I’ll definitely be repurchasing when I finish this bottle. This is a great chemical exfoliator for sensitive skin and well worth a shot if you haven’t had much success previously with stronger exfoliators.
And finally is the wonderful Bravura Azulene moisturiser*. This is perfect for oily/combination skin prone to sensitivity. Azulene is a botanical extract from chamomile so this calms and soothes the skin. The moisturiser itself is a blue colour which my toddler finds very amusing everytime I apply it. The cream sinks in fully and provides a perfect base for makeup. There’s no oily residue or tackiness, just calm, moisturised skin. This is a brilliant day cream and I’ll most probably repurchase this again.
So overall I’m really impressed with the products I’ve tried from Bravura. After 8 weeks of predominantly using Bravura products my skin feels soft, hydrated and brighter. My pores definitely appear more refined but this is always a temporary effect due to products but still it’s nice. The Bravura ranges have been carefully thought out to target either specific skin types or problems, and works wonders on skin starting to show signs of ageing. This is thanks to Bravura’s founder Amanda Elias’s background as a facial therapist which has been fully utilised to make these products special. What really impresses me is the price range, I think it’s some of the most affordable and wide ranging skin care that actually seems to work. Not only that but all products are completely cruelty-free and some being suitable for vegans. Then the cherry on the cake is the packaging, it’s absolutely beautiful. All in all a really class range of skincare that you should definitely give a go.