Thursday, March 19, 2015
Review: Mad Hippie Advanced Skin Care Products
Youth was going to last forever, right? Er.. no. For about 17 seconds somewhere in my mid thirties, I stopped dealing with acne and oily skin, hadn't yet started worrying about dry skin, and everything just worked well all by itself.
It was a nice 17 seconds while it lasted.
Then the inevitable occurred - after years of thinking of my skin in terms of too much oil, I had to learn how to contend with drying aging skin that was losing elasticity. My eyes got the slightest hint of crows' feet. My 'smile lines' around my lips deepened and somehow turned into the beginnings of my grandmother's grimace.
And so, like many, I pursued the shelves full of 'anti-aging' products chock full of chemicals, hoping that somewhere in there, I'd find a magical elixir that wouldn't break the bank and actually do something about these new concerns. I'd buy a new 'absolutely guaranteed to work' fad of the month, use it a few times - and as ever, it not only made no measurable difference, but often felt like I was applying poison ivy juice on my face. I'd gamely stay with it for a couple of weeks until the inevitable day where the notion of making my face uncomfortable just wasn't worth the limited return to my vanity, and off the jar or bottle or tube would go, into the 'beauty product graveyard' of my bathroom.
In recent years, I've stopped buying the 'big name' chemical blends, and experimented more with natural ingredients, some purchased and some homemade. And they definitely work a lot better - but I'd still not found The One, and these, too, went to live in the graveyard, or simply outlasted their shelflife, so that it all still seemed a poor return on my investment. Often they seemed to almost do the job, but something was missing.
Until Mad Hippie Advanced Skin Care. This review is, simply put, a love story. And like all great love stories, there's even a little drama attached.
But first, let me just tell you about Mad Hippie and what it is that makes it different from both 'standard' chem-lab products and simple DIY preparations, in my opinion - if you go to their website, you'll find detailed explanations of not only what is in each product item, but what it is and why it's there. Most items are natural, familiar things that have beneficial skincare properties, and they don't just include one or two things and call it done. Instead, they use the same scientific principles as that standard chemlab to determine what combinations will maximize effectiveness - and in a few cases they are using ingredients that don't have a 'food or herbal sounding name' - but they give you a detailed explanation of what it adds to the whole. Chemistry isn't a bad thing - blindly throwing toxins on your face is. With Mad Hippie, you're not applying caustic substances to look like you have healthy skin that isn't really healthy at all. You're not paint-stripping your face.
In addition to actually providing gentle, healing therapy to your face, Mad Hippie practices cruelty-free and environmentally friendly practices, so you're not causing harm to the world around you for the sake of smoother skin. Even the plastic containers are recyclable.
I received a trio of products to try out, based on my specific issues (sun damage, dry and aging skin, patchy redness), along with a pamphlet explaining each one (as well as other Mad Hippie Products), and how to use it. There is a recommended order for use, which I followed for best results.
Face Cream - "Packed to the brim with peptides and actives, our face cream is formulated to kick-start collagen production while Mother Nature’s best antioxidants neutralize aging free radicals."
In addition to a few trademarked blends such as Matrixyl 3000 and Syn-Tacks(and you can find detailed explanations by following the link), this contains Coenzyme Q10, Resveratrol (the antioxidant in wine and grapes), Green Tea, Vitamin B3, Polyphenols, Vitamin E, Aloe Vera, Coconut Oil, Argan Oil, Grape Seed Extract, Acai Berry, Pomegranate.
Together this is a hydration powerhouse that does a great job smoothing wrinkles and leads to near uncontrollable touching of the face to see how very soft it is.
After washing my face (and I will soon be purchasing their Cream Cleanser to my collection soon for this purpose), I apply this each morning as a moisturizer - it is medium-light in texture and goes on easily with gentle massage. If I'm going to be out, I add a sunscreen foundation and make up after - most days, I don't bother with make up. I absolutely love the way this feels on my face.
Even the container is ingenious - the pump is very easy to use, doesn't gum up, and keeps the product away from oxygen, which leads to break down and rancidity of ingredients. Total winner, and I plan never to be without it.
About a half hour before bedtime (so it has time to soak in before I hit the pillow), I wash my face again, apply a bit more of the Face Cream, and then follow with the Vitamin A Serum.
Vitamin A Serum - "Featuring an exciting new form of vitamin A, our serum works to exfoliate by enhancing cellular turnover, dramatically improving the appearance of sun damaged, aging skin."
The ingredients list is clearly explained for what each of these do: Retinyl Retinoate, Coffee Berry, Phytoceramide, Sodium Hyaluronate, Oat Beta Glucan, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Coconut Oil.
The combination is designed to reduce inflammation, replenish lipids, and help undo some of that old sun damage and redness.
The liquid is milky and light and again goes on smoothly with very gentle massage into the face. Mad Hippie recommends starting every other evening, and then moving to nightly 'once your face adjusts' - that worried me at first, because I've had a long history with retinol type products that feel like they're eating my face, but I never had even a slight bit of reaction to it.
I let that set in for about 15 minutes, and then take the last step:
Antioxidant Facial Oil - "Make peace with your inner hippie while hydrating & protecting against photoaging….Our preservative-free antioxidant oil is truly the most natural way to moisturize."
Argan oil, which I love, is the main base, but added to this is sea buckthorn berry, blueberry extract, pomegranate oil, camu camu berry, broccoli extract, raspberry seed extract, strawberry extract, goji berry, hemp seed extract, grape seed extract, and sunflower extract.
This oil - as you'd expect if you've ever used Argan Oil, is thick and provides a protective layer so your skin can recover from the day as you sleep. Again, gentle massage and my face just adored it - by the time I went to bed, it had soaked it in happily.
Sometimes, in the morning, I'll do this as a last step as well - but only if I'm not going to be flying out the door. It's just a delightful way to give myself a bit of extra pampering when I have time for it.
This wonderful oil has a healing and moisturizing effect on the skin that seems to just last for days, even under adverse situations as I'll explain in a now.
When I was first assigned this review, I happily envisioned how it would go - I'd take a 'before' picture showing my patchy dry red skin, use the products, and take one at the end where I'd be radiant and beautiful and the glow would just emanate out from the screen for you all to marvel.
Three weeks in, I got sick. Really, really sick - I have a growing list of autoimmune disorders that sometimes declare war on me, and I was suddenly in a war that involved mystery symptoms, trips to ER and a revolving door of specialists, and a parmaceudical stew of medications that do nasty things to you while they're trying to handle the problem - narcotics, anti-biotics, anti-virals, anti-inflammatory steroids (that totally decimate the skin as they work), along with being so sick I barely ate a thing for 10 days and the words 'we should admit' came up more than once as I tried and failed to avoid life-threatening levels of dehydration.
I'm still recovering from all that fallout, and still trying to handle necessary but damaging drugs to combat the more serious issues.
Through it all though - even during the time when I couldn't keep down water - I kept using my Mad Hippie products. It was just a tiny space of normalcy in a sea of awful, and while I thought there was no way it was going to be able to keep up with all this other stuff (which is so far beyond anything they claim to be able to combat!), I wanted to try.
And folks - let me tell you. I may have been so dehydrated that I was a danger to myself - but my face? Was soft. And hydrated. And the redness blooming from illness was kept to a non-scary level. It looked SO good that people kept telling me I surely must be feeling better because I looked so 'alive' - and doctors were surprised that tests were showing such a darker tale than they could see by sight.
Mad Hippie isn't claiming to be a miracle product (if anyone ever does, that's your cue to run). But it is working miracles for me. And you're not getting a picture to show that mainly because without fully understanding how bad I should look you won't really get what you're seeing, and they deserve a better 'after' photo than someone with an outgrown haircut, eyebrows that are taking over my forehead (thanks, prednisone!) and we haven't sorted out 'feel-o-vision' so you can feel how soft and firm my face is. But trust me, once I'm better and can put myself back together, I'm going to look as amazing as Mad Hippie makes my face feel!
So lets leave it at that - I'll be ordering the Facial Cleanser and Eye Cream, and when I use my trio of products down to their last drop, I'll be replacing them, too. I've found my regimen and I am IN. LOVE. And you know what? My Mad Hippie products love me right back, too.
Mad Hippie Advanced Skin Care products are available for purchase on their own website, at select stores, and at various online venues including Amazon. Prices vary but most full-sized products are in the $20-$35 range, and there are also multi-packs with sets of their various products available.
Check them out - you're going to love them, I promise.
Mad Hippie Website
Mad Hippie on Facebook