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  • Stella Lee

Natural Instinct 6 week skincare challenge (part 2)

Day 6 progress report of my Natural Instinct 6 week skincare challenge

If you are reading this post you probably know what this is about. If you don't - here's the part 1 post. Short and sweet, I have been sent a generous box of products from Natural Instinct (an Australian skincare brand) to participate in their 6-week skincare challenge.


Day 1 | first impressions

On day 1 I have switched over to the four products all at once. A risky move, but that's what the challenge is about! Here are my first impressions of the four products:

Refreshing foaming cleanser | I was a little surprised that it is a clear gel cleanser (I am not sure why I was expecting otherwise) - and I got very excited! My favourite foaming cleanser is a clear gel cleanser, and I don't think I have disliked any clear gel cleansers before - they always work for me. The scent of the Natural Instinct foaming cleanser is refreshing and pleasant - the fragrance comes mostly from the sweet orange oil and lavender oil. I used the cleanser after a makeup-removing cleansing oil.

While I don't doubt the cleansing capabilities of this cleanser, it is somewhat difficult to rinse off and I can feel a film-like residue left on my skin. I always prefer cleansers that rinses clean, but not squeaky clean (that's a very fine balance to strike, and a synonym to that is "I'm fussy"). Nevertheless, for a $10 cleanser, I think it does a reasonable job.

Plump & renew serum | Initially, I worried about the drying alcohol content which is listed as the second ingredient. However, even though the smell of alcohol is noticeable, on application I did not feel any drying effect. I was surprised how hydrating the serum is, and it was fully absorbed by the skin quickly. My skin felt smooth and soft to touch. This is my favourite product from the box!

Dark circle + wrinkle correction eye cream | I doubt that my dark circles can be corrected by anything. But this is what this challenge is about, so here we go. First impression was not fantastic - the white cream feels "waxy". It's not even thick, but it never got fully absorbed into skin and it has a wax-like residue left on my skin. My skin felt a little bit tight and tinglish after use. I did not feel that it was particularly hydrating (more waxy than watery), and I prefer eye creams with a higher water content because my skin around the eyes is prone to milia (tiny white bumps) if I use anything too rich.

Nourishing facial moisturiser | The texture of the moisturiser feels like the eye cream - but even more "waxier". (Urh!) My gut feeling is that there is a lot of cream base, but not much substance or active ingredients otherwise (again, I don't know how I came to this conclusion). I have used a lot of moisturisers, including some beautiful natural-ingredients-based moisturisers and they are a lot more cushiony and bouncy (rather than waxy), and the ones that my skin likes would melt into my skin, rather than leaving a waxy residue on the skin. This moisturiser feels just like a glad wrap over my skin.


Day 3 | Burning sensation

Everything was going fine until day 3 - when I noticed my skin felt a burning sensation everytime after applying the moisturiser, particularly in the chin area and around my mouth. All the other products seemed to work okay so far, and nothing is causing any congestion either (which is what I am usually concerned about) - just the naughty moisturiser which was giving me a bit of problem. I have decided to push on nevertheless, hoping to finish the challenge.


Day 5 | Dry patches with peeling

By day 5, I knew that the moisturiser was causing me some serious problem. My skin type is pretty normal this season, and is not sensitive either. My skin can get congested if it doesn't like a product; but if there is a dry and itchy patch - I know that my skin is freaking out, and it is much worse than congestion.

Early this year I experienced an enormous reaction to Ultraceuticals complete correction cream mineral tint which Ultraceuticals has ultimately pulled off the shelves. Until now, that was the only allergic reaction I have ever had towards a skin care product. The reaction started with dry patches (gasp!). They were just slightly itchy. They looked so harmless that I have chosen to ignored them. They continue to spread and became red and swollen - at one stage it has gotten so bad that my whole face was swollen, and I could hardly open my eyes (and I went to watch a theatre show that night since I have already got my ticket - needless to say, I could only watch half the show - by which I mean, the lower horizontal half of the show). The doctor diagnosed it as contact dermatitis, and once I stopped using the product, it went away quickly.

So these dry itchy patches that I've got after using the Natural Instinct products concentrated mainly on my chin and jawline areas (where I have experienced burning sensation), and there's also a random patch on my right temple. My phone camera is not good enough to take a close up picture showing the dryness and peeling, and the dry patches do not show in this selfie but it looks like the chin area is marginally more pink than 5 days ago. I have also noticed a lost of luminosity in my skin - I think that's to do with the dryness and micro-peeling. On the positive side, I was surprised that the under-eye dark circles seemed to have diminished - it's a bit hard to tell as I took the day 5 picture at a different time of the day, the lighting was different.

Because the dry patches looked and felt exactly the same as how contact dermatitis started last time, my only rational action was to discontinue use of all new products. Even though I am 99% sure it was just the moisturiser, I am not ready make that bet until my skin has completely healed.

So I took out my "emergency response kit", which despite the fancy name it simply means, back to basic - Dermalogica ultracalming cleanser and Clinique moisture surge (so thankful that I have put aside some GWP sizes for rainy days). They helped me getting through my previous reaction. So for the next few days - just these on my face, nothing else. I have continued to use the Natural Instinct eye cream as my eye areas felt completely fine.


Day 6 | Healing

After just a day, my dry itchy patches are slowly disappearing. My plan is to keep using the eye cream, and back on the Natural Instinct cleanser and serum (not the moisturiser!) once my skin is healed - hopefully by week 2.

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