We all know it”s the ingredients that count when it comes to skincare, yet at the same time, the feeling that “you get what you pay for” can be hard to shake off. As much as I enjoy a bargain, there”s a point at which I start to wonder if something is too cheap to be any good. And that”s before I take into account my weakness for beautiful (and expensive looking) packaging. So when I was asked if I would like to review some skincare products from budget brand Balance Active Formula, I hesitated. With many of their products on offer in discount stores like B&M and Savers for under £5, I must confess it”s a brand I probably wouldn”t have looked at if I hadn”t been asked. But there was something in their ethos that I liked – their dedication to offering skincare formulated from the highest quality ingredients at an affordable price point. In order to do this, they spend less on advertising and packaging. And having won several national Beauty Awards, it”s clear that there are plenty of people out there who like what they are doing. The whole concept intrigued me, and I was curious to see whether or not this very reasonably priced skincare would work as well as the more expensive brands I normally use.
I was sent three products: theHyaluronic 554 Youth Serum, the Hyaluronic Moisturiser and theVitamin C Power Serum. As soon as I received them, I could immediately see that Balance Active Formula mean what they say about saving money on packaging. It”s definitely not the most beautiful, nor does it feel expensive. On the other hand, it has its good points. It”s very lightweight, making it perfect for travel, and it”s practical too. The serums have handy dropper applicators while the moisturiser comes in a tube, which I know a lot of people prefer to jars as they”re quicker to use and more hygienic. So although I might not necessarily want to display these on my dressing table, they get top marks when it comes to practicality of use, which, let”s face it, is more important really!
This serum can be used morning and night before moisturiser. It contains active levels of Hylasome EG10, an aqueous gel of cross linked Hyaluronic Acid which offers longer lasting moisturisation as well as higher levels of water binding and antioxidant capacity than regular Hyaluronic Acid. It also contains Syn-Ake, a peptide that mimics the muscle freezing abilities of snake venom, which helps to smooth wrinkles and blur fine lines. All three of the products I received are completely fragrance free, and the Youth Serum, while having a nourishing feel to it, absorbs quickly, leaving no greasy residue on the skin. I have been using it both day and evening and can definitely see the plumping, smoothing effect on my complexion. It blurs fine lines as well as any other Hyaluronic Acid based product I have used – which is to say, they are still there, but the appearance is reduced. I can also feel a tautness to my skin after using this, which I guess must be the effects of the Syn-Ake. All in all it”s an impressively effective serum, and combined with the moisturiser from the same range, forms a great base for makeup in the mornings.
Containing the same Hylasome EG10 as the Youth Serum, the Hyaluronic Moisturiser is its perfect partner. In addition to locking in moisture and adding to the plumping effects of the serum, this product also contains Algisium C2 which helps to even out skin tone and texture. It”s very lightweight, sinking into the skin completely after just a minute or so, and together with the serum it”s perfect as a morning product to prep skin for makeup application and the day ahead. Although the moisturiser can be used in the evenings too, I personally prefer to use a richer night cream after the serum at that time of day.
Containing stabilised Vitamin C, Zinc PCA and Oleuropein (the olive tree”s most powerful plant active), this serum is deisgned to brighten the complexion, fade age spots, protect against free radicals and boost collagen production. Like the other two products, the formula is very lightweight, in fact, this is probably the lightest of the three. One word of caution though – be careful with it if you have dry and/or sensitive skin. Mine is slightly sensitive, and can be dry outside of my T-zone, and I found that it became irritated after using this serum every day for a while. I scaled back to every other day, and it was fine after that, but it”s just something worth bearing in mind. As far as the results go, it definitely brightens and smooths my skin, and having researched it a little bit, it seems that a lot of people have found it helpful in reducing hyperpigmentation and acne scarring. I don”t have any, so can”t really comment on that, but I can certainly attest to the brightening effects.
I”ve tried a lot of skincare brands, especially since I started my blog, and this one is certainly the cheapest of the lot. Yet it holds its own against many pricier ranges, with all three products producing real results on my skin. Balance Active Formula is well worth checking out, whether you are on a budget or just fancy forking out a little less for skincare. If you”re interested you can check it out at Fragrance Direct.Have you tried anything from Balance Active Formula? And how do you feel about super affordable skincare in general?