Getting through the dark and miserable British winter can be hard enough, but do you find your skin struggles too? By the New Year mine always looks dull, tired and lacklustre (a reflection of how I feel!)
Well, there is some good news and it comes in the shape of Murad’s Environmental Shield Beautiful Start kit. More good news: it’s currently just £29.50.
I’d read a lot about how vitamin C can help to brighten skin, so when I spotted this really affordable kit I thought it was worth a try. It promises to ‘reverse damage and reveal radiance’, and while it hasn’t taken off ten years or made me look like I’ve been on a relaxing career break, it has helped to make my skin look more vibrant and bright – so I do recommend giving it a go.
What do you get?
Essential-C Cleanser, 45ml
Advanced Active Radiance Serum, 10ml
Essential-C Eye Cream, 4ml
Essential-C Day Moisture, 21ml
I used the products as my morning routine only and started using the kit on 1st February. Even though the products are mini sizes it has lasted really well, seeing me through to the end of March (and there’s still some cleanser left).
The Essential-C Cleanser is a gel and foams when mixed with water. It left my skin feeling clean without any tightness and the smell is an uplifting zingy citrus – perfect for first thing in the morning! (In fact the whole range smells gorgeous thanks to a combination of orange and grapefruit oils, amongst other things).
The next step is to apply the serum and give this a few minutes to soak in, before following with the eye cream and finally, the Essential-C Day Moisture. The eye cream felt quite thick so needed dotting around my eye area carefully, but the moisturiser had a perfect consistency (more of a fluid than a cream) and left my face feeling really well nourished and hydrated throughout the day. It also has a built in SPF 30 so you don’t need to layer anything else on top. And the smell…yum.
The serum was the first product to run out and I suspect this is because I used a bit more than was needed every day but, even so, it lasted a month. (I did then replace this step with Superfacialist vitamin C serum I had already but hadn’t been using.) The Murad moisturiser and eye cream lasted until the end of March and there is around a third of the cleanser left. So overall, I think £30 for two months’ use is good value (the products are worth around £60).
I’ve now reverted to my regular morning routine, but think the kit has delivered and dragged my skin out of the gloomy winter, boosting and freshening it up, ready to face the spring (an especially good achievement given I’ve been ill too – hence no posts for a few weeks).
I wouldn’t agree that it improved ‘brightness, clarity and radiance by 60% in less than one week’ as the promo blurb on the box promises, but it has had a noticeable, positive effect.
Why does vitamin C brighten our skin?
I like to read around and find out more about ingredients from independent sources rather than just taking product houses’ word for it, and even though I don’t always fully understand ‘the science bit’, I think the principles in the info here, which I’ve adapted from www.allure.com, are fairly easy to grasp. So if you’re interested in knowing more, here you are:
Applied topically, vitamin C a powerful addition to an anti-aging skin-care regime, as it is essential in collagen synthesis. When applied to the skin directly, the antioxidant neutralises free radicals (atoms or molecules with an unpaired electron) that age you. When a free radical steals an electron from one of the proteins in a strand of collagen, it creates a tiny break in the strand. The more breaks you retain, the more damage you’ll see as skin begins to sag and wrinkle. Since vitamin C is an electron donor, it helps reverse and prevent signs of ageing.
One thing just to be aware of is that topical Vitamin C is unstable, which means it oxidizes quickly after exposure to air, heat and light. To slow down the oxidation of your products, store them in a cool and dry place and seal tightly after use, or they’ll lose their superhero properties.
My final word is about Murad. I’ve been aware of Murad as a highly respected name in the skincare industry for as long as I’ve been interested in skincare and anti-ageing (and that’s a far while, now I’m a middle-aged bint). Founded by dermatologist Howard Murad, M.D., I like his ‘Inclusive Health’ philosophy, that: ‘beauty and health are vitally linked and best achieved through an Inclusive approach that improves every cell in the body’.
Crudely translated, there are no quick fixes or miracle cures – we need to look at what we put into our bodies as well as what we apply topically, and think about our overall wellbeing through mindfulness, exercise and meditation/relaxation. Difficult, given the busy lives we all have and the external pressures we face, but I think he’s right.
This kit is a small step in the right direction though – I hope the review is helpful – let me know…