Thursday, October 13, 2016

Brightening Skincare from Andalous Naturals - Turmeric C Serum, Purple Carrot Night Cream and Meyer Lemon Cleanser

 For the longest time, skincare has always been a boring subject in my curriculum: My skin behaved reasonably well (normal most of the time, sweaty during summer) with the Texas weather so I didn't need anything special beside cleanser and sunscreen and occasional clay mask. Things took a drastic downturn when I moved to Jersey winter of  2014, when we had a string of icepocalypses. My normal-in-Houston (thin skin that's highly susceptible to climate change) suddenly required oil by the gallons and I could no longer use any facial exfoliator, without causing major redness and breakout. 

After another episode of over-exfoliation (turned out that I couldn't even handle those enzymatic powder wash) and subsequent breakouts, I was left with red, raw skin with a ton of marks/ post inflammation hyper-pigmentation).

Veteran readers of my blogs might remember from my old half and full faces pictures (yes, I do post my mug every 4 years or so) even lip swatches, that I always have a few marks here and there at any given time. Back then the pesty zits came and went quickly. Nowadays, perhaps the cold weather slows down metabolism or I am just no longer the spring chicken that I once was, those suckers stayed much longer than usual. Long store short: I realized that I needed extra in my skincare (aside from the dozen facial oils I am pouring down my face).

At the end of last year, I saw Birkie's post on brightening skincare (with glowing review for the Andalou serum) and I remember seeing it from my local Marshall's. It was only 13 bucks plus tax (a mere 1/2 to 1/3 the price of HABA White Lady, which I considered buying) so I ran to Marshall's right after work to get it. It was December 31th, a perfect day to start a new routine, as in "If I get an allergic reaction at least I don't need to show up to work looking like a pink turkey".

 Andalou Tumeric + C Enlighten Serum is one of the many products from their brightening range. The spot treatment is equivalent to the essence in a multi-step routine, as a booster for moisturizer.
Let's take a look at the ingredients: There are lot of healthy and yummy-looking components. With moisturizing aloe, sunflower oil and glycerin as base. Their gimmicky nonsense fruit stem cells is rather high up the ingredient list, then followed by anti-inflammatory turmeric extract and Vitamin C (namesake ingredients). Even though orange oil is at the very bottom of the list, it makes a big presence to my senses (nose and face) and did sting my face for the first few nights. It could just be my battered up skin and/or other ingredients though.
The Turmeric + C Serum has a yellow tint and light lotion texture that's mildly sticky/greasy thanks to the oil. To me, it's moisturizing on its own. Not that it stopped me from smearing half a pump of oil on top. I imagine for people living in the south (and southern hemisphere, where it's spring-summer at the moment) this could be potentially sticky and too oily.

After the first three or four days of using this (when it stung my face), my skin slowly adjusted to the formula and I started to see  brightening effect. The effect was only on newer/pinker marks and it plateaued after a few weeks. Nevertheless, it combated some of the sallowness and evened out my overall skin tone. What I really like about the serum is that (I assume it's) the turmeric extract really calmed down my skin and reduced future break out. The somewhat oily formula adds the perfect dose of moisture in the not-too-cold winter and an overly air-conditioned office space so my dry skin has a use for it, for most parts of the year (except July, August and part of September when it felt like living under a dog's breath).

With two pumps per application and two applications per day, each 30ml tube lasted me for around two months. I am on my fourth tube right now and have hoarded several backups whenever I saw them in Marshall's or TJ.  By the way, I didn't take the glamour shot of the half bottle to show usage. For my photo session, I took a brand new box sealed (with Marshall's sticker)box. When I opened it by the tree...
It came without label. (Yeah, I know I am exposing the brand new bottle to ditect sunlight. It will survive.)
Now to the next product. On the same trip, I also picked up the Purple Carrot  + C Luminous Night Cream because I didn't have a moisturizer on hand.
 Instead of sunflower oil, this one has flax and borage oil in place of sunflower, which I assume make the texture lighter and less sticky and cranberry juice is what gives it a sharp scent and purple color, not from the purple carrot. Beside all the plants extract, there is also olive-based squalane, which I assume is good stuff (as HABA sells just squalene, sourced from shark liver).   
The texture of the Purple Carrot night cream is a very light gel that feels like a quick sip of water for my skin. It smells like fresh green grapes and gets absorbed on the skin in a jiffy. It's so light-weight I don't notice its extact effect. As long as I used the Turmeric C Serum, using or skipping the night cream made no difference on my face.

Anyway, I finished my first tub rather quickly without knowing what it does. I suppose that it would be great for folks with oily and dehydrated skin? Anyway, the second tub shouldn't be hard to finish given I love the smell and have lots of surface area on my entire body.

By the way, I have a habit of backing up when I find items I don't hate because the stocks in discount stores is never continuous. 
Lastly, here is the Meyer Lemon Creamy Cleanser. It's a non foaming and non-sticky type of cleanser. It has an opaque jelly texture that reminds me of the Burt's Bees Royal Jelly Facial Cleanser(that they just had to discontinue), but less fluid. It makes a wonderful gentle winter time face wash,  when I don't have a lot to get off. 

It's gentle, effective (never tried it with waterproof sunscreen though) and leaves no residue. My only gripe is that I need one or two pump per wash so a full bottle runs out in just a few weeks. In terms of price per use, it's no less expensive than my HG Shiseido cleansing foam (when each tube lasts 6 to 8 months of twice-a-day uses) so I don't see a compelling reason to keep multiple backups. 
 Ingredient list. No arm swatch because lazy (to run back to bathroom to wash it off).

Overall: I do like all of them and have obviously repurchased all three. The brightening line certainly neutralized the sour taste in my mouth (from their facial spray).

A side note, I have briefly reviewed the  Clemetine + C facial spray(also in the same brightening range)  last year and said it stung the heck out of my eyeballz. Anyway, I later found a way to finish it up (on my face, not down the drain): After decanting in a small bottle and applied with square cotton (both Muji), it's rather effective as a second cleanser/lint remover. So, not completely useless after all.


  1. Will check out the serum (and night cream) if I run across it!

  2. Do give them a try if you see them cheap! Another TJ/Marshall find that I really like is the Balance Active Formula vitamin C power serum. It's a UK brand with more potent formula but without moisturizing bits (so I can load on oils as usual.

    Bonus point that it's five or six bucks at TJ and slightly higher at Amazon.


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