January is the time of hibernation and getting over all the merriment and festivities, as well as exhaustion of December, when we were all rushed off our feet finishing work, buying gifts, decorating our homes and partying. That’s why I decided to start 2016 with a new series of blogs, called ‘Winter Wellness‘. Don’t worry, I won’t be suggesting a detox of any kind ( well, maybe of your bathroom shelves and wardrobe, if you fancy a little challenge to start the year with, make your feel energetically lighter and kinder to the charities that will benefit from your clothes or unused cosmetics ). My main point of this series is not to suggest any big changes. Instead, how about focussing on the power of small steps in the right direction for you. Case in point ? How about an overview of the subject of pigmentation and large pores and how the latest launch from Tata Harper – Concentrated Brightening Essence, which landed on British shores in November, can help you improve the look of your skin, if pore size and pigmentation are issues of concern.
Generally from the age of 40 women notice that their skin starts losing pigments and might become more blotchy ( having said that, we are all individual and some things that were unheard of before in your 20s, do occur now ). When it comes to sun rays, while many of us like to luxuriate in them, it also affects our skin all over the face – forehead, around the eyes, cheeks, all around the nostrils and mouth. Sun-bathing, in fact, is one of the worst things you can to your skin, as it alters our skin genetically, speeds up the ageing and in the worst skin scenario can even lead to skin cancer. Many facialists, dermatologist and cosmetic surgeons will tell you that the vast majority of the ‘rejuvenation’ work ( superficial peels, microdermabrasion, IPL ( intense pulsed light ) they do for their patients is to rectify the damaged done to the skin by persistent overexposure to sunlight – there is a lot to be said about the daily use of UVA and UVB high-factor broad-spectrum sunscreen.
According to the information on the packaging ( I simply love a combination of yellow and green colours, maybe because it reminds me of the fifty shades of green of the Irish grass, as well as the sunshine ) ‘this high-potency, lightweight brightening essence delivers an instantly refined, radiant look and dramatic, long-term lightening effects. It continues to say that ‘a delicate infusion of Alpha and Beta Hydroxy technology tones the complexion, minimises pores and visibly fades the appearance of dark spots and hyper pigmentation for a more even, luminous glow‘. A little note: alpha-hydroxy acid is a ‘blanket term’ for a range of acids, which are derived from natural sources, for example citric acid is derived from citrus fruit, malice acid from the apples, tartaric from grape extract, glycol from sugar cane and lactic from either sour milk or bilberries. It is often used to improve uneven pigmentation. Beta-hydroxy acid ( salicylic acid ) is often used to treat acne damage, as well as sun-damaged skin, but it is not suitable for very sensitive skin.
Now, the subject of pigmentation and hyper-pigmentation (unless you have a specific skin condition ) used to be only relevant to the older women or expectant mothers-to-be. However, as the environment is going through the changes, in part inflicted by the human activity, the sun often feels ‘hotter’ on our skin than in previous years. We have become more vigilant about sun protection but the subject is grabbing our attention, especially after we come back from the holidays in the sunny climates and notice that the skin is not as smooth and can become quite uneven than it used to be, when the suntan fades.
I was tempted to review this product in December, as part of my Christmas gift selection, but then I thought about it and decided to delay it until January, when we have slowed down a little to contemplate things and this product is a good step in the direction of better skin and can be part of your new year resolution that you will implement and keep up the good work, instead of giving up a month later.
In Spring and Summer the sun tends to be more active and it has a stronger effect on the ageing of our skin ( I say that as a natural suntan lover ). Colder months of the year are better for focussing on reversing the damage and instilling good habits. Like certain cosmetic procedures, I think this product is a good one to use now and by the time spring arrives on the door step, not only will you hopefully notice an improvement in the way your skin looks, but you will have become more vigilant about sun protection, to prevent further damage to the health & skin’s abilities.
Tata created this product to expand her ‘SuperNaturals’ line, by building on the success and efficacy of the Concentrated Brightening Serum ( I know of many women upwards of 40 who simply adore this product. Yes, it’s not cheap but it does deliver what it promises and instead of using several mid-point products, sometimes buying one more expensive one is worth it ). Concentrated Brightening Essence works best in combination with the Concentrated Brightening Serum ( I did an experiment of using this combination on one side of my face and the Dr Sheller Serum (German natural brand ) on the other side and can see a difference between the two combinations with the Tata Harper products side of my face looking plumber and more even after about four weeks of once a day use.
The main aim of the Essence is to help combat dark spots and hyper-pigmentation, something we might take for granted until we start experiencing those issues ourselves – a case in point of prevention being better than cure. The Essence has a flowery smell that Tata’s products are known for and even though its smells is quite ‘potent’, somehow it relaxes your senses and features. It has a texture of tonic and serum mixed together and when you apply it, not only does it instantly refresh the skin, while sinking into it, your skin experiences a lovely cooling sensation as well. All you need is to shake a bottle gently before each use and then dispense one or two pumps of the product on the clean palms of your hands. Sweep the product over your decollete, neck and face upwards ( I also would suggest adding it to the tops of your hands, if you have noticed pigmentation spots on them ). Tata suggests applying it daily after cleansing but before applying your serum. Once both products ‘sink in’, you also feel like your skin has been slightly lifted and plumped. I noticed that my skin’s natural brightness has improved and that my complexion was more even overall. I don’t have large pores (thank you genes and mother nature) but I have small moles, which have become more noticeable since my 20s, so it is something that I keep an eye on ( I am a fan of moles and freckles, but it is something to keep an eye on, in terms of your skin health – if you notice any changes or have concerns, do make at appointment with your GP).
After using the essence for seven weeks I can report an improvement in the evenness and brightness of my skin overall, without any other drastic overhaul of my daily skincare routine. Interestingly, as I was testing it, I recommended the product to a colleague who lives in Spain. She is in her early 50s, looks way younger than her years and is quite fit. She is also a big sun-lover, who always talks about her desire to balance the love of a natural suntan with the beautiful skin, as her skin does give away her age a bit. She has been using the Essence now for about four weeks and says that it is one of the most effective products for the pigmentation that she has tried lately.
Featured Ingredients (16 High-performance ingredients):
- Organic Lemon Extract, Willow Bark Extract, and cells from Madonna Lily lighten skin and help encourage cellular turnover
- Sea Fern Extract lightens the skin and helps reduce dark spots
- Rapeseed Extract helps reduce melanin content in the skin
- Lavender hydrosols provide weightless, oil-free hydration
- Honeysuckle flower extract & lavender scent water scents brings together a sense of elation, while magnolia’s exotic scent boosts emotional positivity.
Tata Harper Concentrated Brightening Essence, 100 mls, £100 can be purchased by clicking here