I was recently invited to a DECLÉOR skincare workshop hosted by Vanitytrove, and was given a small sample set to bring home. DECLÉOR was a brand that I’ve always associated with “older” folks and was never curious enough to venture into on my own. Having experienced the full range that DECLÉOR had to offer at the workshop, and tested some of the latest products personally for about 2 weeks, I was pleasantly surprised and thought I’d share my experience.
DECLÉOR was founded 35 years ago by a French massage therapist, providing plant-based treatment products to beauty salons. The company is all about aromatherapy for skin, and boasts a skincare line which heavily features essential plant oils.
The products that I’ve been sampling are:
Aromessence Iris Rejuvenating Serum
DECLÉOR’s Aromessence range of products is the brand’s flagship, which they have termed “super serums”. These contain the heaviest dose of essential and plant oils in the entire DECLÉOR line-up, and are 100% natural and preservative-free.
Part of my initial reservation about DECLÉOR was due to the fact that essential oils played such a big part in its products. In my early 20s, I invested heavily in another premium skincare range that boasted a serum featuring essential oils that claimed to balance skin sensitivies and protect against aggressors. It took me a long time to realize that instead of improving the condition of my skin, it was causing irritation. There have also been studies that show not all essential oils are safe to be used on the skin, in fact, many ingredients that go into making these essential oils have the potential to irritate and cause damage to the skin. However, given how long DECLÉOR has been successfully employing the use of essential oils in skincare, they must be doing something right. As such, I took a leap of faith, and gave the Aromessence Iris Rejuvenating Serum a shot.
DECLÉOR Aromessence Iris Rejuvenating Serum is a “dry” oil that is meant to be used after cleansing and toning, before moisturizer. Arromessence Iris works to counteract signs of aging by redefining the facial contours, energize the skin, and enhance the firming anti-wrinkle properties of Prolagene Lift cream. I used this day and night, placed 2 drops in my palm, warmed it up gently by rubbing my palms together, and then patted over my face and neck.
Aromessence Iris had a lovely spa fragrance that sent me to bliss heaven when I first tested it on my hand, but felt a little strong on my face. It goes away within a minute, and did not annoy me overly much. The dry oil texture did not feel heavy on my face even for day use, as it was instantly absorbed and I did not have to wait before applying moisturizer. Due to my wariness of all things containing essential oils, I paid extreme attention to the minutest reaction. I noticed that my skin turned slightly red immediately after application, not tomato-red, but certainly discernible. I did not experience any discomfort, and the redness goes away after awhile.
Prolagene Lift Intensive Youth Concentrate
DECLÉOR’s Prolagene range celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. In celebration of this milestone, the key ingredient – L-Proline Complex is given an update with an injection of soy extract. The improved L-Proline Complex works to reactivate collagen synthesis, reorganize, consolidate and tighten the dermal mesh. The Intensive Youth Concentrate contains the highest concentration of the L-Proline Complex combined Iris essential oil and hyaluronic acid to form the ‘Lift Jeunesse Complex’. This acts on the skin’s surface to provide immediate lifting properties.
This is meant to be used day and night as a 3-week intensive treatment, best applied after the Arromessence Iris serum. To be honest, I was not as diligent in using this as I was with the rest of the set as I was afraid I was suddenly overdosing my skin with essential oils. I reserved it for my evening rituals, and only used it for the 2 weeks whilst my Arromessence Iris serum lasted. It felt more balm-like in texture dispensed out of the sample-sized squeeze tube than watery as the picture seemed to indicate. And so it was’t quite as easy to spread over my face as a fluid serum would. But even layered over with a moisturizer at the end, it did not feel overly much. The main reason I stopped, was because even after 2 weeks, I did not notice much lifting or firming, although to be fair, I did not complete the full recommended course.
Prolagene Lift & Firm Day Cream
The Prolagene Lift & Firm Day Cream is the latest moisturizer in the DECLÉOR family. It is consistent with the rests of the Prolagene Lift family, and provides anti-ageing benefits to the skin by acting on all dimensions of firmness to boost, protect, prolong and add radiance to skin. In addition to L-Proline Complex, Iris essential oil and Hyaluronic Acid; there is also white sage to help stimulate the cell’s defence proteins, botanical tensing agent to tighten and smooth the skin and light-reflecting particles to add instant radiance to the skin.
This is my favorite from this entire set of DECLÉOR product! It is a light cream moisturizer that has the same “dry” texture, i.e. it gets absorbed instantly, doesn’t require any downtime before applying makeup, and never feels heavy on my skin. More importantly, I did notice a brightening effect after applying. There is a light floral fragrance that is very pleasant and elegant, and gave an overall sense of well-being without being over-powering.
Rejuvenating Night Balm
The Aroma Night Rejuvenating Night Balm takes advantage of the skin’s natural biological rhythm at night to pamper it. It contains concrete of Iris and Geranium, Camomile and Lavender essential oils tostimulate and tone the skin; and Hazelnut, Wheat Germ and Borage plant oils to combatharsh external factors and limit dehydration.
This is a balm which quickly turns into an oil texture when warmed between the fingers. Unlike the other 3 products reviewed here, this felt oily on my skin and took quite a long time to be absorbed. Also, it broke me out. Not in any major catastrophic way, but for every night that I applied this, I would wake up to 2-3 fresh zits in the morning. I persisted with this Night Balm for 2 weeks, in the hopes that my skin would acclimatize itself to the product (as it sometimes does), but unfortunately the popping never stopped.
I am very grateful for this opportunity to experience all that DECLÉOR had to offer, as I probably would not have indulged in it otherwise. Every single product is a sensory journey and combined with DECLÉOR’s recommended massage technique “Gym Lift”, guarantees a spa-at-home opportunity. I am very happy to note that my skin did not react adversely to the essential oils contained in the products, which is perhaps a testimony to their use of right dosages and purity of the extracts. Regardless, essential oils are very potent ingredients and not all skin react well to it, and I would suggest sampling it if you can before making a major investment.
Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on your viewpoint), I am not an ideal test subject for lifting and firming products as (hopefully) I have yet to experience sagging skin. As such, I am unable to speak affirmatively on the efficacy of the Prolagene Lift range. However, the brightening effect of the Day Cream was clearly observable, and I really enjoyed the texture. If there is a product from this range that I had to recommend, that would be the one. Of course, DECLÉOR has a whole host of other product lines that may be better-suited, and I will not hesitate to try them myself in future.