Not everyone is born with a beautiful, flawless complexion, which does not mean that you can’t have it someday though. Your daily habits will reflect what you look at in the mirror.
Our lives are sure crowded, being trapped in non-stop activities and even, caught up in unexpected situations. Do your job for a living, put yourself out there, hit the gym, update your social media, hang out and get into a relationship or heaps of relationships LOL. But, it’s time to make room in your life to create a proper schedule for your skin on fleek.
Building the right skincare routine is not easy. Some beginners find inundated by so many steps ahead, for example, the iconic 10-step-skincare regimen of K-beauty. That might be time-consuming and extravagant. You don’t have to follow all those steps. Make sure that you are choosing good products that benefit your skin type and apply them in the correct order.
Among Erno Laszlo goodies that I received, each of them represents every step in the skincare routine. We had the cleanser, the facial mask and the exfoliant. Keep up with that, in this post, I intend to walk us through a review on Erno Laszlo Firming Essence (Formerly known as Firmarine Lift Essence Lotion). Let’s see how we are able to get the most out of it.
1. Chock-Full of Emollients, Water-Binding Agents and Antioxidants
The product is an encapsulated oxygen essence gel with firming and lifting powers from a blend of Spirulina Maxima Extract and other botanicals. Its formula aims to penetrate the skin, promote collagen production and activate the skin repairing process.
It contains Glycerin and Hyaluronic Acid, both of which are occlusive emollients and powerful humectants in skincare. Renowned for attracting water from the air or the deeper skin layers, retarding the evaporation of water from the skin and improving its moisture reservoir. Fortify the barrier function and fight against the perils of the environment. These two are essential to impart smoothing and moisturizing effects without clogging pores.
The signature ingredient is Spirulina Maxima (Blue-Green Algae) Extract. It has long been used for beautifying and medical purposes. Hailed as a powerhouse of healing, age-defying and detoxifying properties.
Additionally, loaded with Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice and Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Extract, both of which are rich in vitamins, minerals, fatty acids and enzymes. Full of anti-aging, soothing, antimicrobial and hydrating properties to relieve inflammation, irritation and dryness.
All of the plant-derived ingredients help revitalize damaged skin cells and minimize the appearance of fatigue and premature aging signs for an intact, healthy-looking complexion.
Infused with a great deal of water-binding and moisturizing agents. There are Sodium PCA, Isononyl Isononanoate, Xylitol, Propanediol, Arginine, Polyglutamic Acid, Propylene Glycol, Dipalmitoyl Hydroxyproline, Xylitylglucoside and Anhydroxylitol. Considered non-sensitizing or non-irritating ingredients and cut out for dry, flaking skin. Together, they minimize the water loss on the outermost layer of skin, plump skin texture and leave a supple, moist feel to the touch.
Propanediol also does its job as a solvent to dissolve other ingredients to form a solution as well as a viscosity decreasing agent to create a feather-light, non-sticky texture. Another solvent is Decafluoropentane.
Arginine and Dipalmitoyl Hydroxyproline are both amino acids as antioxidants to counteract free radicals, increase collagen synthesis (elasticity) and enhance the skin’s protective barrier.
Because Propylene Glycol is versatile, it’s additionally used as a delivery agent to improve the penetration of active ingredients into the epidermis as well as inhibit the product from either melting or freezing.
The formula consists of Lactic Acid, an AHA, which is commonly found in exfoliants to break down the bonding between dull, dead skin cells and stimulate cellular renewal. Besides, Lactic Acid helps boost ceramides (lipids) to form the skin’s protective barrier, hold natural moisture and shield against environmental aggressors (or oxidative stress).
Formulated with a plethora of chemical compounds, most of which are considered safe and low hazard ingredients. There are PVP (also known as Polyvinylpyrrolidone), Sodium Polyacrylate, Isohexadecane, Dimethicone/Bis-Isobutyl Ppg 20 Crosspolymer, Hydroxypropyl Cellulose and Acrylates Copolymer.
These multitaskers are texture enhancers, binders, emulsion stabilizers, viscosity-increasing agents, suspending agents, film formers and thickeners. They prevent ingredients from separating and result in a smooth, homogeneous coating with high spreadability.
Ethylhexylglycerin acts as a preservative, a preservative enhancer, a surfactant, a deodorizer and a skin conditioning agent. It helps leave a soft, non-greasy sensation, inhibit microorganisms from growing, prevent obnoxious odour and enhance the effectiveness of Phenoxyethanol in the formulation.
Menthyl Lactate, an ester of menthol and lactic acid, is included to deliver cooling and soothing effects with a minty scent. Similarly, Menthol and Methyl Diisopropyl Propionamide provide analgesic activities and mild cold, when applied topically, with a characteristically minty aroma. Some other fragrance agents are Ethyl Menthane Carboxamide and Parfum. A word of caution, Menthol and Parfum are considered skin sensitizers.
Plus, the formulation includes two colourants, Blue 1 (Ci 42090) and Red 33 (Ci 17200). To be frank, I do not want any colourant or fragrance in skincare products. Skincare products should be free of synthetic colourants.
Free of Phthalates, Parabens, Petrolatum, Sulfates and Mineral Oil. What else? The product is neither cruelty-free nor vegan.
2. Hydrating, Cooling and Soothing, but Fragrances and Colorants Are Problems
Looking at my picture, you can see that my skin went through a hard time, even though I managed to style it out.
A month ago, my skin was kind of confronting a relapsing condition, honestly, it had been three years since I had gotten over flaky, scaly skin. Such a nightmare that I did not want to be caught up in again. It’s not that my current skincare products no longer work for me. I was in the middle of a trip and skipped my moisturizers. Stress and sleep deprivation hit me hard.
Then, I thought that this could be a chance to give the Firming Essence a little bit of a try as it’s allegedly made of numerous skin-loving humectants and emollients. Also, taking rest is paramount for a healthy, radiant-looking complexion.
The lotion gives a clear, water gel-like and non-runny consistency in light blue colour. Extremely sheer and easy to diffuse evenly with fingers. The more you blend it out, the more liquid it is, melting into skin and being quickly absorbed. it feels initially wet and slippery and about 30 seconds later, leaves a non-greasy, moist feel. A little bit tingly, yet very hydrating with supercooling and soothing effects, which are long-lasting.
When I first used the lotion, my skin looked raw and jacked up with dry patches. I was bothered that it might not be on good terms with my skin. But, its amazing cold really calmed me down.
I admit that it hooked me up with a burst of hydration to make my skin more awake and mitigate uncomfortably dry, tight sensations. Apply the product in lieu of toner, following the cleansing step. The lotion itself is not able to keep skin moisturized for the entire day. Subsequently, finish off with serum and cream to replenish skin and lock in moisture.
Within a week, my skin was gradually healed, recovering its smoothness, firmness and luminosity. However, all of my nuisances were not eradicated. The redness should have been gone with the dryness, but it was still there, on my cheeks, nose and chin. I even got breakouts then. What a pain in the ass! I kept using the lotion, nearly two weeks passed, my condition did not change much.
I tried many ways, even ditching my current moisturizer and serum for new ones. And, finally, I tried switching to another toner that is geared towards sensitive skin. The pesky redness and blemishes started easing off after a few days.
The product’s formula is a dead giveaway that it’s literally ideal for my sensitive, dry skin to activate moisture retention, ward off flaking or scaling and enhance the skin’s barrier function. Otherwise, it does not effectively take all the redness out of my skin. I’m also wondering whether the product was a culprit of the breakout or not.
Most of its ingredients seem theoretically less likely to provoke irritation and breakout, except for the fragrances (Parfum and Menthol) and colourants. They are considered exacerbating skin irritation. It does have a very strong minty scent. Toner is normally designed with liquid, fast-absorbed formulation as a priming step after cleansing and a balancer to regulate the skin’s acid mantle. It should be gentle and free of alcohol derivatives, fragrances and synthetic elements.
Here is my verdict. I think the lotion is a very hydrating toner for dry, oily, combination and mature skins. Its thin, liquid consistency will not trigger congestion and greasy, oily traces either, except that your skin may be allergic to certain ingredients.
I bet that folks with sensitive, redness-prone skin may refrain from using it because of those fragrances and synthetic colourants as well as based on what I did experience.
Above all, no matter what skin type, I think that it should not have contained fragrances, which aggravate the skin’s pH level and accelerate free radicals (oxidative stress).
That is just my very personal feeling. I believe that lots of you out there find it the holy grail. It’s so sad that the product does not work for me. You can give it a go and apply it in moderation to avoid negative reactions.
3. Weightless, Clean Packaging – Quite Pricey
Housed in an airless pump dispensing square bottle to preserve the stability and hygiene of the formula. It retails for $68 (20ml/6.7 fl.oz.). Quite pricey for a toner. The pump works very well. It’s not easily broken or clumped inside, not even once.
Furthermore, there is a safety lock to make sure that the product will not be unnecessarily spilled out. And, the bottle is very lightweight. Suitable for on-the-go uses. You can find its product description and ingredients on the cardboard box.
4. May Not Come Back to It
To be fair, the lotion merges amazingly cooling, soothing hydration that skin can’t help falling for. Unfortunately, I got dealt a bad hand, it included fragrances and colourants stand between me and this lovely product. I’ll give it 7 out of 10.
I really hope the review is informative and helpful enough for you all on Erno Laszlo Firming Essence. Please, be open with me. I’d love to hear you out. Thank you so much for spending time on our blog! Stay strong and beautiful as always!