Last month, L’oreal invited us to be one of the first to discover the latest additions to the Hydra Fresh series.
It was hosted at the cosy Clifford Restaurant in Fullerton Bay Hotel, and the first (and best) thing that greeted us upon entry was, a pink-themed dessert spread and a chocolate fondue fountain.
After that short but sinful distraction, we were invited to create our own cocktail, choosing 2 fruit juices and 1 syrup to be mixed in random quantities. Since none of us knew what we were doing, we ended up with a rather interesting tasting mix consisting of grapefruit juice, lychee syrup and mango juice.
Thankfully for our stomachs, it was followed with The Lantern’s (Clifford Restaurant’s In-House Bar) Signature Cosmopolitan, which was much more pleasant-tasting. This mini-experiment was meant to show how our skincare products, like cocktails, have to be formulated with the perfect blend ingredients in the correct quantity to achieve maximum effectiveness.
Which brings us to the stars of the day, 4 products from Hydra Fresh that have been infused with Grape Seed Extract from French grapes and a couple of other key ingredients in a perfectly blended cocktail for your skin. What other key ingredients? Well, they are none other than:
We were also treated to a live demonstration by Makeup Artist, Melissa Yeo, on the best way to apply the products (Hint: gently patting them into your skin is all you need!) and the beautiful model looked even more radiant after the short demo.
Sounds promising? We got to take these babies home and test-drive them for you to see whether they really did live up to their lofty claims! And just in case you need a quick refresher on what they are supposed to do for your skin:
Specially formulated with Grape Seed Extract from French grapes, also known as “skin vitamin” for its effectiveness in protecting collagen, improving skin elasticity and brightness, and maintaining soft and smooth skin.
The Hydra Fresh range of products seeks to not only deliver intense hydration to quench thirsty skin, they are also power-packed with anti-oxidants to help protect our skin from external aggressors such as pollution, UV rays and air-conditioning that us city-dwellers are exposed to everyday.
Firstly, the Hydra Fresh Hydrating Refreshing Creamy Foam (125ml) (SGD$12.90) is a creamy cleanser that contains essential minerals to cleanse makeup, oil and dirt thoroughly while hydrating and nourishing your skin at the same time.
Review: When I heard that the cleanser was supposedly able to remove makeup, I knew that this was going to be the first product on the “To-try” list. Being a busy (and lazy) person, I want my makeup removal process to be short and sweet. After a long day out, the last thing you want to do is to have to spend a good amount of time slogging away at your makeup. Turns out that the cleanser managed to remove about 95% of my makeup, which is something I’m very pleased with. (To the point that I’m willing to put up with its “squeaky clean” effect)
If you wear makeup frequently and have combination to oily skin, then you might want to consider trying this cleanser out for a quick way to remove your makeup. Even if you don’t usually wear makeup, this quality of this facial wash is on par with more expensive cleansers in terms of how much it cleanses your skin, so for the price you’re paying, it is actually a pretty good deal!
The Hydra Fresh Hydrating Softening Spa Water (175ml) (SGD$19.90) is made with Spa Water from the French Vosges Mountain that is packed with 16 minerals to strengthen the skin’s moisture barrier, soften the skin and maintain its natural balance. It has a gel-like formula that breaks into a light, refreshing water texture upon patting into the skin.
Review: True to form, this product dispenses with a gel-like consistency which transforms into a more liquid texture when patted onto the skin. This helps with application since the thicker consistency that it begins with is much easier to apply to the skin without having to worry about it dripping off your palms en-route or having to use a cotton pad, minimizing wastage.
You can also transfer the spa water into a travel-sized spray bottle and carry it around in your bag for a mid-day spritzer to refresh your complexion and fix your makeup during the day. Talk about multi-purpose! It feels very refreshing on the skin and also doesn’t leave any greasy residue behind so feel free to incorporate this product into your morning skincare routine before heading out the house. If you’re looking for a facial water/toner, do consider trying this out as it is very easy to use and its gel-like texture ensures that there is zero wastage, making it quite value for money!
In a similar sleek packaging, the Hydra Fresh Hydration + Antiox Active Mask-In Lotion (175ml) (SGD$22.90) is a mask-grade hydrating lotion that nourishes your skin without leaving a greasy residue. It’s unique Mask-In Lotion effect lets your skin drink up the goodness it gets from 10 minutes of using a mask, in just 10 seconds.
Unlike the Spa Water, this lotion leaves a sticky residue behind which may feel uncomfortable if you’re applying it in the day, hence, I would also recommend using this at night. It promises to deliver all the benefits of a regular mask which usually takes 10 minutes to sink into your skin, in just 10 seconds! For all you time-strapped ladies out there, every second counts so this is truly a lifesaver. I find that the best way to apply this product is to simply pat it into the skin and massage it gently to aid absorption.
A nifty tip is to soak a cotton pad with the lotion and place it on drier areas on your skin, be it your cheeks or forehead, to act as a mini-mask to treat the areas that need the most hydration. That said, it takes a surprisingly long time to be absorbed fully into the skin (unlike other facial essences), and leaves a tacky residue that lingers for quite a while. Thus, if you’re using it in the day time, it may feel slightly uncomfortable and oily. If it is too oily in the day, lightly blot with a tissue before applying makeup.
Last but not least, the Hydra Fresh Hydration + Anti-ox Active Supreme Emulsion (50ml) (SGD$25.90) is a light-weight emulsion with a unique oil-in-water formulation that deeply penetrates the skin for intense hydration with no greasy residue.
Review: The emulsion definitely has a thinner consistency than a typical moisturizer, thus it feels very light on the skin and is much more easily absorbed. As with the previous 2 products, the best method for application would be to gently pat the product into your skin. That said, it does leave a slightly greasy residue behind so I would also save it for the night time skincare routine.
For fans of the previous Hydra Fresh range, although this new line looks drastically different, you will still get a similar skin care experience as they’ve kept the pleasant fresh Hydra Fresh scent, but improved the formulation. The new packaging also looks much more luxurious and will make a sightly addition to your dresser.
As this range is focused only on delivering intense hydration to the skin, it is best suited for the younger crowd who are just starting their skincare routine and are looking for products that are affordable and effective. If you have other skincare concerns such as anti-aging and brightening, then these aren’t the best products for you. But if you want to start early to prevent anti-aging, the anti-oxidants in this series will do just that!
The products are not oil-free, thus they are best suited for dry to normal skin types.
Those with oily skin types can try the facial cleanser for something that will not dry out their skin.
The new Hydra Fresh range will be available from October 2013 onwards at all L’oreal Paris counters in Singapore.