Many months ago Image Beauty included a trial set of Nov L&W collection in my gift bag. All of the products were very decent but the essence was special. The trial set only contained a couple foil sachets of the essence, but in two uses I was HOOKED. The texture was unusual and intriguing, and I soon found myself dropping $50 (+ EMS shipping) on a tiny tube so I could use it some more.
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NOV L&W Brightening Essence
NOV L&W products offer anti-aging skincare with a highly effective moisturizer especially formulated for sensitive skin. Sensitive skin is vulnerable to irritants and other ingredients that cause dry, sagging, and dull skin.
Country of Origin
Where does it fit in your routine?
Official use instructions are: Dispense two pea-size amounts of product into the hand and spread over the entire face. Follow with the moisturizing step of your regular skincare regimen.
I use it in the serum step (ie after hydrating toners, before moisturizing creams).
Functional, thin, monochromatic, almost-but-not-quite millennial pink tube.
Color and texture
This essence comes out of the tube as a light, almost gel-like cream. Start massaging it into your skin it absorbs instantaneously, like a light serum would. When you’re done, it feels as if the essence has somehow embalmed your skin, but in a weightless, totally unobtrusive sort of way. Texturally, I find this product fascinating, delightful, and unlike any other product I’ve used. The 107 Cream Essence is almost similar, but it is far more creamy and not nearly as weightless or elegant.
The first couple of ingredients are pretty much all silicones, emollients, viscosity controllers – components that don’t necessarily do anything for skin but make the product feel very nice. Usually, I’m very function-over-form and this would bother me, but the texture of this essence is what drew me to the product and that texture doesn’t just magically create itself, so credit where credit’s due.
The key, skin beneficial ingredients are ascorbyl glucoside and dipotassium glycyrrhizate, which frankly are probably in lower concentrations, but here’s a quick overview:
- Ascorbyl Glucoside: a very stable derivative of Vitamin C that converts to ascorbic acid over a more sustained period of time than other derivatives. It’s been shown to mitigate sunburn and, in an in vitro study, inhibit melanin production
- Dipotasssium Glycyrrhizate: also known as licorice root extract, dipotassium glycyrrhizate is a compound of potassium and glycyrrhizic acid. It has been shown to be effective in reducing erythema, oedema and itching caused by atopic dermatitis. It also contains glabrene and isoliquiritigenin, which work together to inhibit tyrosinase, a key enzyme in melanin synthesis, which can help reduce hyperpigmentation from melasama, age spots, UV damage, and actinic damage. Another component is liquiritin, which at a concentration of 2%, is more effective at treating hyperpigmentation in people with melasma than 4% hydroquinone. The effect is even more pronounced with 4% liquiritin.
Water, Butylene Glycol, Dimethicone, Pentaerythrityl Tetraethylhexanoate, Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, Peg-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Dimethicone/Peg-10/15 Crosspolymer, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Citrate, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Acetyl Hydroxyproline, Isostearyl Neopentanoate, Serine, Tocopherol, Glyceryl Glucoside, Sodium Lactate, Sodium Pca, Sodium Hyaluronate, Cholesteryl Hydroxystearate, Riboflavin, Ubiquinone
Cosdna identifies butylene glycol (1), dimethicone (1), Isostearyl Neopentanoate (3), and tocopherol (2) as acne triggers and Isostearyl Neopentanoate (3) and tocopherol (2) as potential irritants.
Every once in awhile, I decide to treat myself to fancy and expensive skincare. This often leads to disappointment. Luxury product rarely feel as expensive or as luxurious as I expect them to and usually perform comparably to much more affordable skincare products. This product is a winner. It does not come in the most luxurious or fancy packaging, but the stuff inside the tube feels every bit as luxurious as a $50/oz product ought to.
Despite the somewhat lackluster ingredient list, this essence doesn’t disappoint. Initially, I used this essence sparingly, applying a small amount each night. Used this way, this cream gives my skin a healthy luminescence. Definitely satisfying, but as I would later learn, not the way to get the most out of this essence.
This essence does its best work applied in a thicker layer. I squeeze a nickel sized amount onto my palms, press my palms together, and then pat all over my face. I give it 10 seconds to sink in, then layer a moisturizer over it. This gives my skin a nice, healthy glow, but more impressively it leaves my skin SO DAMN SOFT. Softer than a baby’s butt soft. My skin also looks and feels firmer, and just overall better.
If I have a wedding or fancy brunch to go to, this is what I use to prep. If any of my (super nosey) extended family members come to visit, this is what I reach for so my mom doesn’t have to deal with passive aggressive comments about my skin. If I have important work meetings and am short on sleep, this hides my exhaustion and gives the appearance of spirit and energy. Basically, vitality in a tube for when my skin needs it.