In a concerted effort to improve the texture and appearance of my skin this year, I've become pretty much obsessed with skincare. We're only into February and my morning and evening skincare routines have already evolved several times, not to mention having vastly grown in terms of the number of steps and time involved. But I'm starting to see some improvements, and that's what matters!
In honour of my new skincare addiction, I was excited to go along and hear about a fairly new skincare brand to the UK which mixes the experience and expertise of both French and Korean skincare. It's called Erborian (which translates to 'herbs of the Orient') and it's part of the L'Occitane group. Although some of its product have already been available in the UK for a while, I'd not heard of the brand before, but they're launching tonnes of new products to their UK line at the moment, including some really unique gems that I can't wait to get my hands on.
I got to try out a few products from Erborian after hearing about the background of the brand. It was formed by two women, one French and one Korean, who came together to share their love and knowledge of skincare. I'm always super intrigued when it comes to Asian skincare products and methods, as everything's often so different from what we're used to in the UK. There's been quite a trend with UK brands introducing replicas of Asian skincare formulas into their lines over the last few years, especially when every brand went crazy putting out BB this and CC that, but they're always a Westernised version, so it's been a great experience to get to try out some products which I consider to be more of the real deal.
Erborian CC creme - £36
Although I've tried a lot of BB creams in the past, once everyone moved onto CC cremes I think I was a bit bored and felt it was all a bit over-hyped, so I'm not sure I've tried much in the way of a CC creme, and was a little unsure as to what to expect or how CC differed from BB.
Erborian's CC creme promises to deeply moisturise whilst giving skin a velvety, soft and spotless finish. whilst adapting to your skin colour. It comes out a pale grey colour, but as you apply and as you can see in my first swatch, it immediately starts to blend into your own skin colour. I'm not sure how well this would work for very pale or much darker skin than mine, but on my average light to medium skintone, I get a perfect match and it makes my skin look really even. The cc creme really disappears into my skin in terms of texture, leaving a 'real skin' finish, but with an even colour that looks all my own. I love that it creates a more flawless look, disguising redness and darkness, whilst remaining really natural - the epitome of 'no makeup' makeup.
I originally thought this was a bit of a stay-at-home-Sunday type product, as I usually go for high coverage foundations, but actually, as well as giving me an even colour, this also mattifies my skin and keeps it matte - even on my oily t-zone. For days when my face is playing up and foundations just won't set and stay in place, this is now my go to option because it's incredibly easy to just slap on and go, and it lasts all day long. Huge thumbs up.
I got to take away a few products from the event, but the one I really wanted to try - Erborian's BB creme evaded me. I think the main reason I wanted to give it a go was because I heard that they made the first BB creme in Europe, so I got the impression that it would be a different and better version of the vast BB line up you'd find in Superdrug.
The original BB looked a bit on the pale side for me, so I went for the shade doré, which I must admit, looks a bit too orange for me when first applied, but I've found a knack to use less and blend really well to get a better colour. The formula of this BB creme is much thicker than any other BB I've tried, and the coverage is really top notch. It's much more akin to a foundation, but it's easier to work with, blending into the skin more like a moisturiser.
Erborian say that their BB creme has three benefits in one - it unifies skin tone to conceal imperfections, moisturises and nourishes, and offers a 'baby skin' effect. I certainly agree with the first two, but no it doesn't give me baby skin unfortunately! Personally I'd say this is the best BB creme I've tried, but it depends what you want out of the product - I find it gives a foundation like finish, so if you want something more natural looking, almost like bare skin, then the CC creme is likely to be the better option. Also I think the BB is more suited to drier skintones, as I do seem to get rather oily when using this, as it's quite moisturising.
This was the product I couldn't wait to get home and try - a sleeping mask that aims to transform your skin over night, specifically targeted to stressed skin. There's a mention of 'baby skin' again on the tube, but I'll forgive that, because this mask is actually wonderful.
After completing my skincare routine at night, I've been applying this in a light layer and going off to sleep (trying not to lay on my side and stick my face to the pillow...). In the morning when I look in the mirror I no longer recoil in horror - this gives me plump, fresh looking skin without the usual redness. It really is a little overnight miracle worker! I've been using it every other night on and off (it recommends two or three times per week) and I visibly notice the difference between days I have and haven't used this. Instant favourite.
Erborian Herbal energy lotion - £22.50
Lastly I've also been trying out this lotion from Erborian which is a moisturiser booster - similar in a way to products like Hydraluron I think. It claims to increase moisture retention by 30% and it's designed to be used between your cleanser and moisturiser. I'm noticing a theme here with Korean skincare - there are lots of additional product steps compared to what we might consider to be an average UK routine.
I've not yet tried this one extensively as I do get oily skin during the day and tend to stick to my tried and tested moisturiser, but I have given this a go at night underneath a moisturiser, and it seems to be giving my other products a boost on the hydration front. It feels fresh and calming on the skin too, so I can imagine it would also be a lovely product to use as part of a morning skincare routine. I've read that this one can also be used as an intense moisture mask, so I'll be trying that soon and seeing how I get on - maybe on alternate days to the amazing Sleeping mask!
Erborian is sold at Space NK and Selfridges in the UK and is more widely available in Europe. I'll be looking out for the pink perfect creme, which is a blurring primer launching later this year, and the BB eye cream, which has an amazing texture that seems perfect for my sometimes dry and crepey under-eye area.