With the laser focus on the performance driven skincare, Sarah Zimmer, NAYA founder, tirelessly works behind the scenes despite the complexities of Brexit and Covid pandemic. Currently based in Germany, Sarah sent me three of her recent additions to her brand family in late spring. A serum, a face oil and a mask, all three formulated with fewer high-quality ingredients at higher concentration.
Sarah’s Instructions for me were quite simple, yet precise: “start with the EVERYDAY Glow Serum, followed by the ELEVATE Hydration mask (apply a nice thick layer!) and then finish with RENEW Cacay + A Oil. The oil contains 0,3% retinol. Please only use at night.”
NAYA EVERYDAY Glow Serum (Revive & Recharge), 30ml, euros 66
Light green in both colour and the feel when applied to the skin, the serum feels instantly soothing and has a earthy scent with very subtle mushroom undertones. This serum contains an active that helps to stimulate the mitochondria in our skin cells, reviving skin’s appearance, as well as triggering the energy of the rejuvenation cycles that slows down as we age. Not surprisingly this serum is a big city for the brand and keeps on selling out.
The texture of this serum is akin to the emulsion and it works invisibly to transform the skin of a city dweller from dull and fatigued to more even and luminous. There is an omega-rich Mango that helps to revitalise the skin and Cacay oil coupled with Vitamin C to reduce oxidative stress caused by pollution. The Silverear mushroom (that also lends itself to the scent) completes the proprietary formula by boosting skin’s hydration level. This serum doesn’t contain essential oils or silicone and is suitable for vegans. It instantly sinks into the skin and is equally good to use in the morning or evening routine, or both. During the summer I applied the serum after cleansing and only added SPF ‘on top’, without the need for extra moisturiser on top of it, but of course, skin needs are individual in their differences. You can also combine it with your usual moisturiser or facial oil.
NAYA ELEVATE Hydration Mask (Quench + Smooth), 60ml, euros 64
What makes this face mask quite unique is the fact that it has not just a couple, but five different types of hyaluronic acids (via multi-molecular Hyaluronic Complex) to deliver hydration to skin layers, while simultaneously creating a ‘network’ of hydration across the skin. While some cosmetic doctors who I have spoken to in the past dispute efficacy of hyaluronic acid in skincare beyond the top layer of the skin, it certainly won’t do any harm to add this mask into your weekly skincare routine, alongside making sure you drink enough water daily and not just from time to time.
There are many skincare masks but many of them aren’t ‘enticing’ enough to be used on a regular basis, but in this instance my skin thoroughly enjoyed weekly masking throughout the summer, which was a signal to me that it certainly was effective when it came to looking after the skin during the summer. I was lucky to travel and swim in the sea, which while wonderful for head and body, can be dehydrating for the skin. NAYA’s hydration mask made sure my skin remained as ‘hydrated’ throughout the holiday season and I ended up using it twice weekly, waking up with plump and well moisturised skin in the morning.
The mask also helps to reduce redness, reduces the appearance of blemishes (which many women experience not only during the course of the month during the changes in the hormones, but also as their body slowly transitions into peri-menopause), plumps up the wrinkles and helps make the complexion more even in appearance. The mask also helps improve skin’s own barrier function (provided your regular skincare routine doesn’t negate the effort with too many products or overuse of home scrubs, peels or acids).
Apply the mask after cleansing (it feels like a creamy moisturiser that almost instantly slips into your skin & gets to do its work) and leave it on for at least 15 minutes, but don’t leave it on overnight. You can then use a muslin or cotton cloth to remove any residue, but no water is needed to ‘wash’ it off. Then apply your usual night cream, serum or face oil and get ready to sleep, waking up to the complexion that will make you start your day on the pleasing high naturally.
NASA RENEW Cacay Oil + A ( Refine + Reveal with 0.3% retinol), 20ml, euros 54
Palest yellow in colour, this face oil smells like olive oil with nutty, rather than peppery undertones. Its feels luxuriously lightweight and with only three ingredients – Cacay Seed Oil, Glycine Soja Oil and Retinol – it actually proves the medium that simplicity & quality can be the best tools when it comes to your skincare arsenal.
Sustainably and community-sourced Cacay Oil, brand’s hero ingredient from the inception of the brand, provides the formula with essential fatty acids and vitamins that the skin needs. Extra boost of Vitamin A will help to refine the skin and bring back the natural glow that might be lacking. Bio-active Cacay works beautifully in tandem with retinol, helping to slow down the visible signs of ageing. Please do remember to use this product only in the evening and make sure you use ample SPF protection during the day, as retinol can make the skin more sensitive. I actually stopped using it while I was at the seaside, as I am a sun worshipper and didn’t want to erase all the goodness this oil does for the skin with my worshipping at the altar of sun rays.
When I was actively using it in June nightly I did notice the improvement in the evenness of my skin and using this product didn’t make my skin red or sensitised, which some retinoid definitely do, when not used sensibly or in the wrong concentration. The oil itself feels very soothing and nourishing and sinks into the skin effortlessly, without any oily residue on skin’s surface, a testament to the experienced formulator. Overall my skin felt and looked firmer and more radiant – not always the case with retinoid based products. Please don’t use the retinoids if you are in your 20s and remember to do a patch test when using retinoids for the first time or when you used them in the past, but stopped using them for whatever reason.
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