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As winter sets in it's easy to see the effect the cold weather has on your skin, leaving it dry, red and just downright irritated. I always find that I need a new moisturiser as Autumn comes around and this year I splashed out on Bliss's The Youth as we Know It after hearing great things about it.
Bliss is an uber expensive range of skin and body lotions and potions, a sideline of the fantastically successful BlissSpa in New York. The Spa and the product range was launched by inexplicably young looking Marcia Kilgore (who then went on to develop the far more affordable Soap & Glory range) and their products are lauded by beauty experts everywhere, often coming with a price tag more akin to the deposit on your first house. My own experience with the Bliss range is somewhat hit and miss - when I find a product I like it quickly becomes a must have miracle product, but the range does have it's fair share of duds which leave you feeling guilty and foolish for spending quite so much money on them.
The Youth As We Know It is a facial moisturiser intended for all ages, but marketed as being particularly suitable for those over the age of 30 due to its advanced anti-aging ingredients. Bliss claim to have poured all of the year's of experience of anti-aging technology into this one product: it claims to moisturise, smooth, prevent premature aging, fill out lines, repair the skin's natural barrier, promote faster cell regeneration, all of which helps to minimise the dreaded appearance of aging.
In the ingredients list are a whole handful of anti-oxidants: Vitamin E, vitamin C, Algae, vitamin A, Panax ginseng root extract, Grape seed extract, bilberry extract, and Orange extract - I don't think I've found a cream before that throws in quite as many as this! It contains silicone which helps to smooth the skin, a scary sounding ingredient called PPG-3 benzyl ether myristate, which is a plastificer that provides a smooth feeling similar to silicone, and moisturizing ingredients such as Glycerin, Shea butter, Olive oil, Carrot oil, Soybean extract, and Algae. Glycerin is high on the ingredients list and is a substance that is present naturally in the skin and works to prevent dry and flaky skin by transporting water from the lower skin layers to the epidermis, improving the condition of the skin. It also contains Aminobutyric acid, said to be a similar ingredient to botox, and collagen, to smooth out wrinkles. In short, all the ingredients that beauty ads on tv rave about are present here - peptides, retinols, amino acids, MMP inhibitors, anti-oxidants, you name it, they've crammed it in.
The packaging (like most Bliss products) is nothing to write home about - a fairly heavy frosted glass pot with the standard navy blue Bliss logo and writing. It has a sturdy screw top lid with a little plastic cover inside, so I've found this is great to take travelling with you as there is no chance of it leaking all over your washbag. However, for the price tag, it would be great to have packaging that was a bit more exciting, even just using funkier colours would give it that little bit of glam.
The smell is nice but I have to admit it's been a bit of a grower! The first whiff smells to me of pineapples and is quite a light scent, not one that lingers for hours after application, but at first I felt it had a mildly chemically undertone to it. It's not something that I've continued to notice and now I do like the smell, but it's one that has definitely taken a while for me to get used to.
The moisturiser is a caramel/ pale yellow colour and the texture is lovely and thick. Despite the thick texture it is absorbed instantly on application and I find that I don't need to apply very much at all to feel that my face is fully moisturised - I use 3 very small dabs, one for each cheek and one for the forehead. It does feel very rich and tackles any dry areas really well leaving my skin flake free. However, on my combination skin it can tend to make my oilier patches look a little greasy, hence why for me this is a winter moisturiser only, only to be used when my skin is drier and in need of more moisturisation than normal.
Once it is absorbed though it leaves the skin glowing and really smooth and plumped up. Since using this I've actually had quite a few compliments on my skin and even a couple of people asking me what moisturiser I'm using. Even on my skin which at the grand old age of 26 is not yet really showing any signs of aging, there is a definite fullness and smoothness to it, and my one small frown line responds really well to this, almost being 'absorbed' back into the skin and definitely less noticeable.
Having raved about the effects, there are however a number of ingredients which are potentially irritants to sensitive skin, so if you are a sensitive flower I would definitely not recommend this. Most of these irritants are in the fragrance, such as orange extract and limonene, but there are also ingredients such as sodium hydroxide, benzethonium chloride (a preservative) and hydrogen peroxide, all of which are potential irritants to skin. Having said that, I've personally not found it irritates my skin at all, but it's worth noting if you do suffer from minor or severe reactions to creams.
My other disappointment with this product is the lack of an SPF. Although it's not a massive deal for me as my foundation contains an SPF, I would like the option not to always have to wear foundation and it does strike me as odd that a cream selling itself as 'anti-aging' would skimp on this fundamental point.
The price tag on this one is predictably high - it will cost you around £55 for just 50ml. I managed to get mine in a Bliss gift set (Super Spaah) which included a 30ml pot of this and the triple oxygen energising mask for 'only' £30. Bliss products are now far more widely available than they used to be, although you'll probably still have to go online - aside from shopping on hqhair.com, you can buy them from Bliss direct (www.blisslondon.co.uk) and even from Boots online store. In the shops you'll find them in department stores like John Lewis.
Despite the fact that I really like this product, I'm not sure I would buy another when this runs out - the lack of an SPF is a big factor for me and something I think should always be included in an anti-aging cream, but I don't feel that I'm really far enough along in the aging process to justify spending this much on a face cream.
This incredibly effective anti-aging skin care formula contains many simultaneously high-performance ingredients that will produce a regenerative effect like no other / Be prepared for some unforeseen sensations like incredible results, radical wrinkle reduction, and constant receipt of compliments / How it works: Testers showed up to 100% increase in skin hydration / 81 / 3% of testers reported an improvement in skin radiance / 63 / 6% of testers reported an immediate relaxing of fine lines / 50% of testers showed an improvement in the appearance of hyperpigmentation /