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My sister returned from her holiday the day before my birthday this year, she'd obviously forgotten all about it as I was handed a small bag from the duty free shop which contained a couple of (suspiciously unwrapped) presents. She knows I'm a fan of expensive cosmetics, she also knows that I don't get to treat myself to mega expensive stuff very often thanks to the copious amounts of cash I have to spend on the kids on a seemingly daily basis. I've never expressed an interest in Biotherm, in fact I've only ever used two of their products before and wasn't really impressed enough to repurchase despite the fact that both items were highly pampering and did their job pretty well. I don't flatter myself that my sister actually put much (any) thought into the products she picked out for me, but I was pleased to see this Biofirm Lift Anti-Puffiness Night Cream - mainly because I was coming to the end of my night cream pot, but also because the broken nights sleep I have with my son do cause my face to look puffy in the morning for a short while.
The cream is supplied in an attractive purple glass pot, it's very similar in shape and style to an Anew product I used recently from Avon's range. The screw lid is chunky and rounded so easy to grip even if my hands are covered in the various slippery lotions and potions I use in my evening beauty regime; it's never twisted on unevenly or become stuck (unlike the irritating Anew pot) and the neck of the pot is more than wide enough for me to pop my fingers in and scoop some of the thick cream up. It looks understatedly stylish, but in all honesty has such a minimalist design that it's not a pot I feel particularly proud to have on display in my bathroom and it's not one that would stand out as a premium brand if I wanted to impress visitors!
The cream is designed to be applied before you go to bed, I apply it immediately before heading into the bedroom as even though it's not greasy it does leave my face looking shiny for a long time afterwards. It is advised that you should cleanse using plain warm water before applying the night cream, but as I wear full make up every day I need to use a cleanser to ensure my skin is as clean as possible. I tend to use a relatively light cleanser (Body Shop at the moment, but this changes regularly) and rinse with plenty of lukewarm water before patting my skin dry and allowing a few minutes before I apply the night cream to allow any dampness to disappear.
It's not the most luxurious night cream I've ever used, it's obviously high quality as the cream has a rich consistency that simply can't be found in cheaper cosmetics but I can't say I feel particularly pampered while I'm using it. The smell is quite odd too; I can't put my finger on it but there's the obvious creamy fragrance to the cream (which is fair enough), yet a typically Biotherm 'clean' smell is apparent beneath this which makes my nostrils twitch in annoyance! Luckily I only really notice the fragrance while I am actually applying the cream and it disappears once I've massaged it into my skin.
The texture of the cream is slightly gelled, it's cool on my skin and feels refreshing upon application. It doesn't feel airy but isn't heavy either, the cream smoothes onto my skin easily and absorbs reasonably well - I say reasonably because it never completely disappears and I can feel a slightly tacky sensation from the moment I wake up. This isn't good and is irritating enough that I have the urge to cleanse my skin and remove all traces immediately after getting out of bed, I like to use a foaming cleanser as I feel that's the best method of ensuring the cream has completely been removed. One other, slightly more unpleasant, effect of using this cream overnight is a strange tightness across some portions of my skin (the apples of my cheeks and edges of my forehead) which lingers for a while after cleansing - I'd assume this is the skin tautening promised by Biotherm, but if so it's in completely the wrong place for me!
I don't find the Biotherm Biofirm Anti-Puffiness Night Cream to be very moisturising, something which has actually put me off replacing it now I've come to the end of my pot. I'm aware of the fact that Biotherm don't claim this to be the case, but personally I need a night cream that will nourish my skin as I sleep and unfortunately this one just doesn't do that. The wrinkle/puffiness effects are negligible too - I'm thirty six and don't have any wrinkles to worry about yet; I have the inevitable laughter lines (I refuse to call them crow's feet!) but they don't bother me in the slightest, which is just as well really considering they weren't smited as I had expected them to be based on the blurb on the Biotherm packaging! It was the 'puffiness' claims however that I was most looking forward to testing - the addition of Ginkgo (an ingredient I rate highly in skincare products) made me think it may work on this irritating issue, as Ginkgo is well known for its polishing and revitalising properties. The puffiness I experience is through tiredness, be it my actual skin is tired and dull or the effects of having a toddler who thinks it's the norm to sleep for six hours a night - something containing Ginkgo (and priced so highly!) should be able to produce results.
Well, pffffft! This cream does absolutely nothing to combat the puffiness I see when I look in the mirror in the morning - and I mean, absolutely nothing. The tightening I feel on sections of my face doesn't transfer itself into actually tightening my skin, aside from a slightly smoother forehead I honestly can't see the slightest bit of difference compared to when I am using my usual (significantly cheaper) night cream. It's hard to explain 'puffiness'; my face doesn't swell up to grotesque proportions or anything like that, I just feel I resemble a pillow slightly and my features don't seem as defined as they are later on in the day - Mark said he's never noticed and he's not one to lie to save my feelings (men!) so I assume it's a minor thing that I'm picking up on more than I should be. However, I do know the problem is there and it's not simply a figment of my imagination so I was hoping this product would work as well as I was led to believe based on the packaging and information sheet. One huge disappointment really.
Now I've finished the 50ml pot (roughly eight weeks of use) I can't saw I'm impressed. For an average price of £48 a pot I expected it to do a lot more for my skin than it actually did, I also would have thought it would be a more pampering product as although it's a nice cream to apply (thanks to the slight gel texture) it doesn't make me feel like I've used anything special - and certainly not fifty quids worth! Thanks to the stumpy design of the pot it was easy to get the very final application out so I didn't waste a single penny's worth - although to be honest I think the whole thing was a complete waste of money and not something I plan to repeat with my own cash.