Super Serum // Hydracool Serum // Active Serum c/o iS Clinical
You might remember back in October I visited S-Thetics at Bristol Plastic Surgery for a demonstration and explanation of their Fire & Ice Facial. I wrote up a little review of the experience here and I was kindly given a sample of the iS Clinical range to try - a complete skin preparation kit which included a cleanser, sachet of eye cream and some different serums to try.
My prior skincare regimen had been a bit scattergun - I wasn't particularly brand loyal and I would try lots of different products (namely whatever I had in my bathroom cabinet at the time) and as a blogger occasionally I am lucky enough to receive samples to test, so there were always lots of options and, apart from the Nivea Soft cream which rescued my face when I was struggling with very dry skin, I wasn't using any products frequently and would often chop and change.
One of the key things that I learnt at S-Thetics was that skin renews cyclically - so every 4-6 weeks, depending on your age. It was advised that you should trial products for a minimum of two weeks, and ideally four, before making a decision on whether you should stick with it or not. This surprised me as I have been known to cast products aside after only a couple of uses, citing them not really for me, when all the time I perhaps should have allowed them a little longer before making a final decision.
Part of the skincare kit, which included a cleanser, were some vials of serum. It was advised to apply 1-3 drops, which would be enough for the whole face. This was, again, a bit of an eye opener - I was used to applying so much more product to my face, even using 3 drops seemed like hardly anything, but I thought I would give it a go, and surprisingly they did go further than I had thought and hence have lasted a lot longer than I imagined they would. There are three serums for day and night use, Super Serum, which is a brightening and tightening day serum, containing powerful antioxidants to optimise skin health, which is used in the morning, following a cleanse and followed up with drops of the Hydracool serum which is a deeply hydrating treat for the skin. I loved this serum which seemed to apply really easily and definitely kept my skin moisturised, it also made a perfect base for a day cream and then makeup.
For evening, the Hydracool serum was again used, following a cleanse and a few drops of the Active serum which is a gentle overnight treatment designed to resurface and prep the skin. It wasn't obligatory to use the Hydracool again, but my skin is so dry I definitely felt it benefit from the use of it. I have now unfortunately run out so have been using a light layer of Nivea Soft just to provide a little extra hydration.
So how have the serums fared? Well, I was a little sceptical that the minimal amount would have an effect, but I have been pleasantly surprised with the way my skin looks. Pores seem refined, my skin texture is smoother, and although I am still struggling with dryness (especially on the forehead and cheeks) I think this is probably not helped by the weather and the movement from cold to hot - I seem to remember I suffered particularly badly this time last year.
After a week or so of using the serums I did break out quite badly which was offputting, but with continuous use I saw a huge difference in the quality of my skin - I still get the occasional blemish but overall it's in a much better place, I think, and the crows feet I was fairly conscious of also seem to have diminished. Having the regular routine has also helped - whilst I've always been extremely careful about my skin (I try not to tan my face, always make sure I remove my makeup, and stay hydrated) having this extra level to my skincare regime has made a big difference. I am 33, so I want to make sure that I can maintain my skin as well as I possibly can, to ensure it looks the best that it can when I am older.
I will be heading back to iS Clinical in the New Year to learn more about the Fire & Ice facial, so keep an eye out for that, and if you'd like to learn more, you can check out S-Thetics here.