Review: Verso Skincare Day Cream and Night Cream

Verso Skincare is a Swedish skincare brand featuring Retinol 8 complex, a proprietary blend of a new retinoid derivative, Retinyl Retinoate, polyphenol extract and vitamins.

Verso Skincare

I’m sure most have heard about the anti-aging benefits of prescription retinoids, retinoic acid AKA Vitamin A, but these are heavy duty anti-agers which often come with unwanted side effects namely skin peeling and flaking (extreme in some cases) and sun sensitivity.

Over-the-counter formulas contain a derivative of retinoic acid/Vitamin A called retinol which is a gentler and more well tolerated by sensitive skin types, but it often takes longer to see results.

There are other weaker versions of retinol which I’ve tried including encapsulated retinol, but my sensitive skin has always rebelled. It has never been able to tolerate any form of retinol, much less prescription strength retinoic acid.

When I first purchased Verso Skincare, I was skeptical. I would use the night cream for one night, then get freaked out and stop using it even though I never experienced any of the typical reactions I have had to retinol namely skin redness, peeling etc.

Verso features Retinol 8 which is 8 times more potent than retinol, yet gentle enough for sensitive skin and can be used safely in the day.

According to Verso:

“Retinol 8 has a proven rejuvenating effect on the skin and it works by making the skin cells mimic how younger cells behave. The substance stimulates the production of collagen and increases the flow of nourishment to the skin, which leads to improved skin elasticity, a more even skin tone and a reduction of fine lines and wrinkles.”

The products lingered on my shelves. Then two things happened.

  1. I read Sunny’s rave review of Verso. For those of you who read MostlySunnyBlog.com, you’ll know that she always thoroughly reviews items and she hasn’t steered me wrong.
  2. In 2015, my skincare resolution was to finish what I owned so I pulled out both the Verso Day Cream SPF 15 and Verso Night Cream that I’d purchased and resolved to give them a fair shot unless my skin experienced a negative reaction.

I have to admit, I was pleasantly happy ecstatic with the results.

Verso Day and Night Cream Black and White

After a few weeks of daily use of both the Verso Day Cream SPF 15 and Verso Night Cream, here’s what I found:

Noticeably smaller pores in the cheek area, a more even skin tone, plumper looking skin especially when I wake up in the morning, and none of that dreaded oil slick on my T-zone.

Inner skeptic splutters.

Scent:

Some reviews I’ve read have raved about the scent, but nothing can win me over the amazing scent of Neroli so I’m neutral in this case.

Packaging:

The sleek black and white packaging is pretty cool. I’ve read some reviews that say the tube doesn’t pump well. I haven’t quite gotten to the bottom of the tube yet, but it’s been working well for me.

Formulation:

Both the day cream and night cream are a light yellow lotion/cream texture. The day cream does give off a subtle glow when applied. This is perfect in the winter, but I think it may be a little too shiny in the summer especially for oily skin. I love the formulation of the night cream. One to two pumps of the tube gives me enough to smooth over my face. The cream instantly sinks in without leaving any stickiness. When I wake up in the morning, my skin still looks and feels moisturized. Although I still love facial oils, I do not enjoy waking up looking a little greasy in the T-zone.

The Active Ingredients:

-Retinol 8 with Retinyl Retinoate: Combines the highly effective antiaging properties of vitamin A acid and retinol; dramatically decreases the UV sensitivity usually associated with retinol.
-Niacinamide: Reduces the appearance of dry skin, wrinkles, fine lines, spider veins, hyperpigmentation, and blotchiness.
-Curcuma Longa Root Extract (from Turmeric Root): Provides antioxidant protection, leading to a more even skintone, reduced appearance of wrinkles, and improved skin hydration.
-Tetrahydropiperine (Pepper Extract): Improves absorption of active substances into the skin.

Ingredient List for Verso Day Cream SPF 15:

Water, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Niacinamide, Butylene Glycol, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate, Diethylhexyl Carbonate, Heptyl Undecylenate, Glycerin, Butyrospermum Parkii Oil, Cetearyl Olivate, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Sorbitan Olivate, Ethylhexyl Triazone, Jojoba Esters, Glycine Soja Oil, Retinyl Retinoate, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Tetrahydrodiferuloylmethane, Tetrahydropiperine,Tocopheryl Acetate, Curcuma Longa Root Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tocopherol, Cetyl Palmitate, Sorbitan Palmitate, Citric Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Sodium Hydroxide, BHT, Fragrance.

The Active Ingredients:

-Retinol 8 with Retinyl Retinoate: Combines the highly effective antiaging properties of vitamin A acid and retinol; dramatically decreases the UV sensitivity usually associated with retinol.
-Niacinamide: Reduces the appearance of dry skin, wrinkles, fine lines, spider veins, hyperpigmentation, and blotchiness.
-Curcuma Longa Root Extract (from Turmeric Root): Provides antioxidant protection, leading to a more even skintone, reduced appearance of wrinkles, and improved skin hydration.
-Tetrahydropiperine (Pepper Extract): Improves absorption of active substances into the skin.

The UV Filters:

-Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate, Ethylhexyl Triazone

Ingredient List for Verso Night Cream:

Water, Glycerin, Butyrospermum Parkii Oil, Butylene Glycol, Pentylene Glycol, Heptyl Undecylenate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Squalane, Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate, Stearic Acid, Jojoba Esters, Glycine Soja Oil, Retinyl Retinoate, Tetrahydrodiferuloylmethane, Tocopheryl Acetate, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Curcuma Longa Root Extract, Tetrahydropiperine, Hydroxyphenyl Propamidobenzoic Acid, Alcohol, Cetyl Palmitate, Sorbitan Palmitate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tetrahydropiperine, Soy Isoflavones, Lecithin, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Citric Acid, Tocopherol, Sodium Hydroxide, BHT, Fragrance.

For those who want to learn more about Retinyl Retinoate, here’s a handy article.

In summary, I personally feel I’ve seen more benefit from the Night Cream than the Day Cream so once I’ve finished the Day Cream, my next experiment will be to try layering the Super Facial Serum, also known as number 4, with the Night Cream. Verso has also recently released the Verso Super Facial Oil (number 7), but I haven’t seen it in online stores yet. I am always looking for another facial oil. So tempting…

Has anyone tried Verso or retinol in the past? Would love to hear your thoughts!

Winter: Black & White

Winter: Black & White

 

Temperatures in LA over this holiday season have been consistently in the 50s and 60s and I have been living in sweaters being the wimp that I am. ;) I was inspired to create this clothing set out of items I own or I am drooling over. I always love a good ankle boot, cashmere sweater, and sturdy tights.

Have a happy holidays!

 

Minimizing my Skincare closet for 2015

The holiday spirit has always brought about a flurry of shopping and beauty hoarding especially with the sale notifications that flood my inbox. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good sale, but I found this year’s barrage a little too much to bear. I still have a penchant for testing out new skincare which is why I rarely repurchase items. Although I do find items that I love and repurchase, there’s always something new that I itch to try.

However, in 2015, I’d like to be more conscious of my purchases. Here’s some of my empties from 2014:

Empties

Here’s a snapshot of my skincare closet as of today:

Cleansers

  • Omorovicza Thermal Cleansing Balm 0.5 fl oz x 2 (This items is highly rated, but I just don’t like using black goop to clean my face. Will not repurchase)
  • Su:m 37 Miracle Rose Cleansing Stick 80 g x 2 (Love this. Will review soon)

Oil Cleanser

Toner – Nada. how did this happen?

Facial Oils

AM Moisturizer

PM Moisturizer

AHA/BHA/Glycolic Acid

Eye Cream

Masks (This is where it gets ridiculous)

  • Omorovicza Deep Cleansing Mask 1.7 fl oz x 1 (This is a repurchase. Love)
  • Omorovicza Copper Peel x 1 (On the fence. Need to use it more often)
  • Laneige Water Sleeping Pack EX 80ml x 1 (Not the cleanest ingredients, but it works)
  • Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Pore Clay Mask 100ml x 1 (Unopened)
  • SkinFood Black Sugar Washoff Mask 100g x 1 (Does the job, but its a little rough on the skin. Will not repurchase)
  • Paper face Masks: Bucket loads since I went to Korea this summer.

Sunscreen

  • LaRoche Posay Comfort Anthelios XL SPF 50 Lait 100 ml x 1 (unopened)
  • LaRoche Posay Ultra-Light Fluid Anthelios XL SPF 50 50 ml x 1 (unopened)

Face Mist

Lip Balm (Again, I hoard these like candy)

Samples – I give away most samples that I get, but these are the ones I kept

  • Tatcha Discovery Kit for Dry Skin – 3 week supply of their enzyme cleansing powder, cleansing oil, brightening serum, and ageless enriching renewal cream. (I’ve probably repurchased this 5x. Very handy for travel)
  • Sulwhasoo – 2 week supply of first care serum, firming cream, balancing water, balancing emulsion, ginseng renewing cream, CC cream.

Summary: 4 cleansers, 1 oil cleanser, 0 toner, 3 facial oils, 2 AM moisturizers, 1 PM moisturizer, 2 acids, 2 eye creams, 6 masks, 2 sunscreens, 2 face mists, 9 lip balms, 5 weeks of samples = 1 face.

As I think about my 2015 purchases, I realize that the words “face mask” and “lip balm” should probably not exist in my vocabulary since I have a supply that could last me through an apocalypse. I have been wanting to try more oils namely marula oil and prickly pear seed oil both known for being extremely rich in essential fatty acids and Vitamin C and E providing deep hydration and protection against free radicals. I’ve always been obsessed with the scent of neroli after trying out the Tammy Fender Antioxidant Creme – Neroli & Orange so imagine my excitement when I discovered African Botanics Neroli-Infused Marula Oil. ZOMG.

Here are my 2015 wants:

2015 Wish List

Have a happy holidays!

Battle of the Cleansing Oils: Tatcha vs One Love Organics and Shu Uemura vs Shiseido

My first foray into the world of cleansing oils started with Japanese cult favorites, Shu Uemura and DHC.

My Shu Uemura experience was positive and I’ll review it below, but I wasn’t sold on the DHC Deep Cleansing Oil. This version not only looked like an oil (yellow in color), it also had an unpleasant smell and oily, thick texture. This oil has gotten rave reviews so apologies to the DHC lovers.

I love the idea of a cleansing oil because of the ease of use.

A cleansing oil when formulated correctly, goes on dry skin smoothly, melts all makeup off, emulsifies into a milky liquid upon contact with water and washes off without a trace of residue.

This, my friends, is the magic of cleansing oil. It is NOT smothering your face with pore-clogging oil causing breakouts. Cleansing oil goes on and it goes off taking all makeup with it.

Note: Some people have reported a sensitivity to cleansing oils with mineral oil in them. I have super sensitive skin, but haven’t had an issue with mineral oil. The Elizabeth Dehn One Love Organics Cleansing oil and the Tatcha Camellia cleansing reviewed below are mineral-oil free.

Here is a review of four cleansing oils that I’ve tried recently:

4 tested cleansing oils from L to R - Elizabeth Dehn One Love Organics Vitamin B Cleansing Oil, Shu Uemura Premium A/I Cleansing Oil, Shisheido Perfect Oil and Tatcha Cleansing Oil

Cleansing oils from L to R – Elizabeth Dehn One Love Organics Vitamin B Cleansing Oil, Shu Uemura Premium A/I Cleansing Oil, Shiseido Perfect Oil and Tatcha Camellia Cleansing Oil

Mineral-Oil Free Cleansing Oils

1. Elizabeth Dehn One Love Organics Vitamin B Cleansing Oil

Ingredients: Helianthus Annuus (sunflower) seed oil*, Caprylic/capric Triglyceride, Di-ppg-2myreth-10 adipate, Polyglycerol-3 beeswax, Helianthus Annuus (sunflower) seed oil* (and) lecithin* (and) Cucurbita pepo (pumpkin) seed oil* (and) Papain*, Carica papaya (papaya) seed oil, Tocopherol (natural non-gmo vitamin e), Proprietary natural & organic fragrance

Price: $38.00/4 fl oz – $9.50/fl oz

Cleansing Power: Decent, but it has the weakest cleansing strength out of the 4. It doesn’t remove heavy foundation or eye makeup so that’s a no-no for me.

Scent: Amazing. Pina Colada!

Texture: Thickest texture out of the 4. I prefer a thinner texture, but not watery.

Overall: I’d give it 3 1/2 stars out of 5. I LOVE this for light makeup days and it has the cleanest ingredient list out of the four above.

2. Tatcha Camellia Cleansing Oil (The WINNER!)

Ingredients: Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Oil, Polyglyceryl-10 Dioleate, Polyglyceryl-2 Sesquicaprylate, Camellia Japonica Seed Oil, Glyceryl Behenate/eicosadioate, Water, Algae Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Glycerin, Ethylhexylglycerin, Alcohol, Fragrance (Natural), Phenoxyethanol.

Price: $48/5.1 fl oz – $9.41/fl oz

Cleansing Power: Gets everything off if you massage the oil well.

Scent: Pleasant, clean scent.

Texture: Thin, but not watery. Perfect IMO

Overall: I’d give this a 4 1/2 stars out of 5. It would be perfect if the ingredient list was a little cleaner (looking at you phenoxyethanol!) Absolutely will repurchase.

Regular Cleansing Oils (Contain Mineral Oil)

3. Shu Uemura Cleansing Beauty Oil Premium A/I

Ingredients: Paraffinum Liquidum / Mineral oil zea mays / Corn Germ oil carthamus tinctorius / Safflower seed oil peg-20 glyceryl triisostearate ethylhexyl stearate simmondsia chinensis / Jojoba seed oil persea gratissima / Avocado oil dicaprylyl carbonate ethyl oleate c12-15 alkyl benzoate isopropyl myristate isopropyl lauroyl sarcosinate isostearic acid arginine stearyl glycyrrhetinate tocopherol capryloyl glycine sea water sorbitan trioleate polysorbate 85 glycerin capryl glycol / caprylyl glycol linalool parfum / fragrance

Price: $36/5 .1 fl oz – $9.41/fl oz

Cleansing Power: Gets everything off.

Scent: Neutral/No Scent

Texture: Happy medium

Overall: 4 stars for the cleansing power. Ingredient list is NOT clean.

4. Shiseido Perfect Oil (found on Amazon)

Ingredients: Isostearic Acid, Alcohol, Mineral Oil, Water, Peg-10 Isostearate, Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, Phenyl Trimethicone, Peg-12 Diisostearate, Peg-8 Diisostearate, Phytosteryl/Octyldodecyl Lauroyl Glutamate, Tocopherol, Fragrance.

Price: $12/5.1 fl oz – $2.35/fl oz

Cleansing Power: Gets all makeup off.

Scent: Neutral/No Scent

Texture: On the watery side, but still works well

Overall: 3 stars. This is a bargain compared to the other oils, but the ingredient list leaves much to be desired. It hasn’t, however, caused any breakouts.

I may not try anything new in the near future because I am happy to repurchase the Tatcha Camellia Cleansing Oil for now.

FYI, Tatcha will be having their 20% Friends and Family Sale online at www.tatcha.com from November 28th – December 8th. I’d recommend trying out the Ritual Discovery Kit for $59 if you want to try out a 2-week sample kit containing their cleansers (powder and oil), brightening serum, and moisturizer.

 

SALE! Pollen and Wax sale June 11 – June 15th

My inbox exploded in little hearts today when I clicked on the Pollen & Wax newsletter. Bee will be moving to a new studio and there is an ongoing sale (June 11 – June 15th)! Items are moving fast and my fingers went in hyper drive.

Some items are already discounted and Bee also included a coupon code for an additional 10% off the entire order: YAYSUMMER0614

Pollen and Wax Sale Picks

Pollen and Wax Sale Picks

Yes, yes, I know. I splurged last month on Pollen & Wax. But, there’s always new stuff that I haven’t tried, namely the above!

My typically dry and hyper pigmented skin has been acting up with the advent of warm weather here in SoCal and I’ve been fighting an oily t-zone and occasional acne.

I’ve tried (and loved!) the Apollo Cleansing Milk and I’m on to the Peridot Cleasing Oil, Sumi-e Detox Clay and the Magnus Blemish Serum.

I’m so excited to share this bit of news and I hope more people will get to know and try Pollen & Wax!