After my Philisophy skincare review, I was excited to learn more and see what could be done to fix those issues my complexion has had for my entire life. I had basically accepted that this was just how my skin was: uneven, red, sensitive, dry yet oily in the afternoon, prominent pores around the nose, but seeing a slight change after a month of using Philosophy products made me think that maybe there was something to be done about it. I got an offer to review Darphin, a pharmacy/spa daughter brand of Estée Lauder that offers a wide range of products to deal with pretty much every type of skin-woe you can imagine, and prides itself in using over 90% natural ingredients. I described my issues to Nina, their product manager, and she ended up picking out a selection of products that would fit my needs. I was sent their Intral redness relief soothing serum, the wrinkle corrective eye contour cream, and the Intral redness relief recovery balm.
I've been using these products night and day for over a month now, which is how long it takes for skin to renew itself, and I can't wait to tell you guys how these products worked for me, so here goes.
I start every day with a quick shower, after which I use two pumps of the redness relief soothing serum all over my face and neck.
The serum is thin, more liquid than gel (unlike for example Estée Lauder's advanced night repair serum), which at first made me doubt its efficacy - I just really love that gel feel, guyz. However, the redness relief soothing serum simply works differently. Cooling, soothing, light, calming. The serum and the redness relief recovery balm also have this amazing smell that I fell in love with at first use: the scent is hard to pinpoint for me, but it reminds me of something like a soft floral grounded in almonds or something, if that makes any sense to you. The smell is 100% up my fragrance-preference alley, so even just the scent is soothing to me. However, some people prefer to use products sans perfume because it might irritate their skin - I noticed no such thing personally, so I was free to enjoy the heavenly scent.
After applying the serum and allowing it to be absorbed by my skin, I use the wrinkle corrective eye contour cream all over my eye area, using my ring finger to apply.
This product doesn't have a discernible scent to me, which is probably best because you don't want any potential irritants near your eyes. The eye contour cream is, well, creamy. The thick glass jar keeps the product nice and cool, which feels amazing on my eye skin after getting out of the shower, and it's rich and nourishing without being heavy or taking a while to sink in. Positive feelings allround.
Finally, I use the redness relief recovery balm.
Again, that amazing scent, and this product has a very interesting texture that tackles to of my skin issues at once: its redness, and its dryness. The balm is very thick, thicker than any moisturizer I've used before, yet not at all greasy. It doesn't even feel notably rich, just soft and soothing. I generally warm it a bit on my fingertips before applying to make it a bit softer, because the product is so thick, but I actually loved the consistency. It felt like giving my skin a leave-in-conditioner treatment every day.
So yes, I loved all of these products from the moment I started using them and throughout the trial period. I had no flare ups or issues, I just felt pampered and soothed. But the best thing came after about three weeks, when I started noticing a huge (for me!) change in my skin. Whenever I looked in the mirror before applying make up or after removing it, I was struck by how good, calm and even my skin looked. The redness seemed to have subsided, but my hyperpigmentation also seemed less noticeable, my pores were smaller, and my skin didn't get as oily during the day. I'm guessing my skin didn't feel the need to overcompensate for dryness anymore since I was using the balm.
But don't take my word for it, here are some shots of my skin before I started using the Darphin products, and after. Now, bare in mind that my skin was already in pretty good condition before I started, since I had just finished my Philosophy trial run. In these shots, I'm wearing nothing on my skin.
I tried to use the same lighting conditions for the before and after shots, and I succeeded pretty well, so the differences you see are not caused by the lighting. I am seriously blown away by how much better my skin looks: radiant, clear, more even. I mean, for an outsider the difference might not be huge, but I notice it every single day and these pictures just prove the efficacy of the Darphin products.
Only downside is the price. The Intral redness relief soothing serum retails at 88€, the Intral redness relief recovery balm at 49.90€, and the wrinkle corrective eye contour cream also costs 49.90€. I have only just dipped my toe in the higher end product pool when I bought Chanel Vitalumière Aqua, and I'm a bit scared of falling in love with more high end beauty items. Alas, it happened. I think I might have to start saving up.
I hope you enjoyed my review, and let me know if you have any questions or product recommendations!