My first skincare was given to me by my father in my adolescence with the words “you look good now, but if you want to look good in your fifties, you have to start working on it now.”
So since then I am working on it.
There were times when I was a total expert on everything that was on the market, and I had the best on the shelf at the price levels I could currently afford.
But then my children were born and with the little ones I was grateful when/if I could even take a shower, not to watch cosmetic news, so I just started to rely on what was on offer at different brands for my (gradually different) age and skin type.
However, during this period, due to the extremely sensitive skin of my children, I began to observe the composition of cosmetics from a completely different point of view. Due to their very delicate and severely allergic skin, I was forced to watch the harmful substances in cosmetics much more (in their case, the issue was mostly in preservatives, especially in the then preferred parabens).
With my younger son it went so far that I learned how to make cosmetics at home, as pharmaceutical cosmetics didn’t do him any good (of course, because with any effort, if you want to send something to store shelves, even pharmacies, you need to preserve it somehow) and it was also impossible to leave his skin unprotected (and thus dry and with a enlarged tendency to react badly).
And one day, my skin went completely crazy. Literally from evening to morning. I just woke up one day on vacation like a toadstool with polka dot skin worse than in adolescence, flew in horror to the local pharmacy, where they tried to find something to save me, and upon my return I immediately flew to the dermatologist, who diagnosed it as an allergic reaction probably to wallpaint in a newly reconstructed holiday apartment.
In any case, since then I have to be extremely careful about cosmetics too.
Over time, I have found that the safest for me are natural products, and since I also tend to avoid products tested on animals, I rummage in the offers of such brands.
Well, as far as allergens are concerned, I have already been trained, but to my bad luck, after years of relying on sound brands, I have completely lost the train n field of active ingredients.
And I’m not even trying anymore, because I have my cosmetic guru – Iveta.
Although Iveta is an IT professional, she also produces cosmetics as a hobby, not only “safe” like me, but also with really effective ingredients. She has a completely encyclopedic overview of cosmetic ingredients and I have been consulting most of my cosmetic purchases with her.
And since we both have something to say about it, I decided to focus only on skin care in this article and in continue with body care in the next one.
So, when I was given the opportunity to test the products of the luxurious natural cosmetics Smyssly, I immediately asked her for her opinion.
I like a lot that a number of brands of natural cosmetics with a really often good composition have been and are being created in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, it can be said that we already have a quite strong tradition here. On the other hand, these brands have long adhered to lower to middle class products and only in recent years have they added more luxurious lines.
The Smyssly brand, originally called Ushuaya, was created relatively recently, in 2017, and threw itself directly into luxury cosmetics. It was created as a collaboration of a mother and daughter, with one focusing more on cosmetics as such and the other on its design.
The brand is available in Bratislava in the perfumery Le Parfum Le Chic, which also gave me the opportunity to test it.
When we are in the design, I appreciate that the packaging is made of as much recyclable materials as possible, such as wood and glass, plastic is as little as possible. Instead of a box, a piece of fleece wrapped in a leather bracelet is used, under which a leaflet is hidden on a minimum amount of paper.
Even for the content, they report 90% of natural ingredients.
So let’s take a closer look at the individual products. I have normal to combination skin, with a tendency to react sensitively to some components, but with age I slowly need to solve things like the first wrinkles and prevent the loss of elasticity preventively, so my impressions will be related to these circumstances as well. The main and first good news is that my skin didn’t react to any product with irritation or with rashes.
Revitalizing micellar water
INCI: Aqua, Butylene Glycol, PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Propylene Glycol, Cocamidopropyl PG-Dimonium Chloride Phosphate, Hamamelis Virginiana Leaf Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis Fruit Extract, Codium Tomentosum Extract, Panthenol, Sodium Hydroxide, Limonene, Parfum.
Iveta’s comment: The surfactant used is relatively mild and although I consider it more reasonable to avoid PEG components, in the composition of the product that washes off may not matter; but also from this point of view, other active substances (panthenol and hyaluronic acid) are not very important in the composition. The use is pleasant and, given that I am in the habit of washing the micellar water with clean water, it is also safe.
My impressions: Well, it’s weird for me to judge micellar water, since I’ve never used one before. When they first came on the market (and it’s been ages), I looked at what micelles are, found out that a kind of saponins, decided not to put soap water on my skin and let it go out of my head. So this is the first time. I must say that it cleansed the skin well. It was not enough for waterproof mascara, I had to clean it with my usual make-up remover. I felt on my skin after it, really like washed with soap, the skin was clean but dry, but it passed right after creaming. But I take it that I am just not used to it, because in recent years I have used either hydrophilic oil or a cleaning balm for cleaning, which is a completely different type of cleaning.
Nourishing Pearl Cream
INCI: Aqua, Isopropyl Palmitate, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis Oil, Cetearyl Olivate,MacadamiaTernifolia Seed Oil, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Sorbitan Olivate, Glycerine, Propanediol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cetyl Alcohol, Pearl Powder, Laminaria Ochroleuca Extract, Ubiquinone, Tocopherol, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Parfum, Hexyl Cinnamal.
Iveta’s comment: The cream has a relatively minimalist composition, as active ingredients are used pearl powder, seaweed extract (for softening and hydration of the skin, anti-age effect), coenzyme Q10 (antioxidant and regenerative effect, hydration, anti-age) and vitamin E (anti-age effect). I was pleasantly surprised that the cream, which has the declared composition of coenzyme Q10, is not snow-white, as it is unfortunately very often (CoQ10 is a deep orange powder, which, even with minimal added amount, turns the colour ot the final product). When cream is used, it has a relatively light consistency, immediately after application to the skin it creates a pleasant impression of soft skin. After a long time, the feeling remains that the skin is treated and without a significantly oily film, for which the combination of the components Isopropyl Palmitate and Caprylic is probably responsible, which will lighten the otherwise relatively rich used oils. I can imagine using this cream as a night care product. The perfume is very gentle and not disruptive in any way.
My impressions: Very pleasant, rather rich, but smooth cream, very nourishing. It takes him a while to soak into his skin, but then he no longer forms an unpleasant greasy film. I have the impression that the skin is thoroughly nourished after it, but it is more suitable for drier skin type, it was too rich for my skin.
Hydra Silky Cream
INCI: Aqua, Isopropyl Palmitate, Cetearyl Olivate, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis Oil, MacadamiaTernifolia Seed Oil, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Sorbitan Olivate, Glycerine, Cetyl Alcohol, Hydolyzed Silk, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tocopherol, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Parfum, Linalool.
Iveta’s comment: While I stated a relatively minimalist composition in the previous cream, here it is even more true – the direct active ingredients are only hydrolyzed silk (hydration, softening), hyaluronic acid (hydration; unfortunately it is not clear whether low-molecular or medium-molecular hyaluronic acid is used) and vitamin E (anti-age effect). The consistency of the cream would rather correspond to light serum, but there I would expect a much more varied content of active ingredients. After applying to the skin, I have a pleasant impression of soft, treated skin again. Although the cream has a very similarly formulated base emulsion (except for the co-emulsifier), the absence of Caprylic / Capric Triglyceride causes poorer absorption and a greasy film remains even after a longer time.
My impressions: A very pleasant, silky, soft-acting cream that is immediately absorbed into the skin. Moisturizes the skin without unnecessary load. For my skin, this is the perfect balance between nutrition, hydration on the one hand and excessive richness on the other. It is a serious candidate for me to buy a full package.
Lip Balm for Plumper Lips
INCI: Theobroma Cacao Seed Butter, Prunus Domestica Seed Oil, Amaranthus, Hypochondriacus Seed Oil, Cera Alba, Butyrospermum Parkii Butter, Ricinus Communis Seed Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate, Simmondsia Chinensis Seed Oil,Punica Granatum Flower Extract , Polyglyceryl-3 Diisostearate
Iveta’s comment: The balm is a combination of relatively luxurious lipophilic ingredients (butter, oils, wax), enriched with vitamin E and an ingredient that should ensure fuller lips. When used, this product was a big disappointment for me – for several reasons. I consider the application of the balm on the lips to be very unhygienic, and because I am used to using them every now and then, I can’t imagine washing my hands at any time so that I can apply the balm. Another disappointment for me was the lumpy, inconsistent consistency. The softer ingredients melted during application and flowed on the fingers, the lumps spread less on the lips. I don’t know if this consistency was intentional, but as a user of the product, it would explicitly discourage me right from the start. Impressions from fuller lips could not come at all…
My impressions: Well, I went into this balm with a slight suspicion. Namely, lip preparations are a bit of my obsession, especially with regard to the fight against wrinkles around the lips, which I would like to avoid as much as possible and for as long as possible. Well, it’s not easy. Among the more luxurious cosmetics, I have already found some – although very few – products that can fight it anyway, but belong to brands that either test on animals, or at least I can not find relevant data. And another problem are balms that promise “fuller lips”. I don’t need “fuller lips”, but sometimes I try, because basically it can also have the effect of smoothing the skin. The catch of these products is that they often use mild irritants (such as menthol, capsaicin – chili contains it, or hot pepper, or wasabi powder), so they achieve the effect of fuller lips by making the lips slightly swollen, which is not my idea of gentle skin care. The description of this balm is featuring the PLUMP Oléactif® ingredient, which should be an extract from a pomegranate flower, but when I consulted with googleuniversity;), it gave me pictures of (other) balms nicely arranged with pepper pods, so I took a deep suspicion, but at least I tried it anyway. It felt a bit warm on my lips on the first try and I still don’t know if it’s because of the composition or because of my suspicion, but it didn’t happen on next tries. And it works. At least to me. When used, it is pleasant, nutritious, but non-sticky and the lips are smoother with regular use (which is 1-2 times a day for me, I don’t need more often). What I see as a disadvantage is that its texture is a bit unconventional – it has the same lumps as when I do not capture the consistency when mixing waxes and vegetable butters at home- but I don’t consider it a big problem, because it spreads smoothly on the lips. Another problem is that as the temperature rose in warm weather, it started to melt. I don’t know what it would do in a hot summer in a purse, which I don’t have to deal with, because in the summer I usually wear a stick with a UV filter in my purse, but somebody might mind. Anyway, I think that at least temporarily I could stick with it.
Stay tuned for the next article to find out more about body care products 🙂