If like me, you’re a voracious consumer of the beauty press – you’ll know that acids and retinols are all the rage. It seems that for the past 10 years, there hasn’t been much innovation in our fundamental approach to skincare. Attacking young skin with abrasive, active and invasive ingredients seems to be the overarching philosophy. This is not a viewpoint I subscribe to. Which is why I’ve been experimenting with Orveda – a new and still relatively niche brand, which I discovered whilst researching prebiotic skincare.
On a side note, if you are wondering…
What is Prebiotic Skincare?
Prebiotic Skincare is designed to encourage good bacteria which live on our skin. Ingredients in prebiotic skincare act like a fertiliser to promote the skin microbiome, which research shows is associated with healthy skin. This is different to “probiotic” skincare, which contains actual living bacteria.
Back to Orveda and its Philosophy
Orveda was launched by Sue Y Nabi and co-founder Nicholas Vu. Nabi spent 20 years at L’Oreal, as President for both Lancôme and L’Oréal. In an interview with the FT, she says that Orveda was born out of her doing “what I would have done at L’Oréal if I’d been allowed to create my own brand, which is to create something we are proud of.”
Reading about Orveda, I was impressed by Sue Y Nabi’s whole philosophy. In the same interview she said;
“I know that dermatologists love retinol, but it’s pushing your skin to extremes, and in the long term, do we really know what it does? Sure you’ll have beautiful skin for now, but in 10 years’ time?”
This completely reflects my feeling on the subject, which is why I wanted to try Orveda for myself.
The Orveda Prebiotic Emulsion
I ordered the Orveda Prebiotic Emulsion. The emulsion locks in moisture by restoring lipid levels and encourages the proliferation of good naturally occuring bacteria on the skin.
With Orveda, unlike the vast majority of high-end “miracle” products, the starting point isn’t stripping the skin bare and then coating it with a completely artificial formulation designed to mimic the natural oils you’ve just removed. The brand’s ethos is to work with your skin and not against it.
The Prebiotic Emulsion is a gel which can be used as a serum or as a mask (in conjunction with a reusable silicone mask). On application there is no burning or tingle. Just a soothing coolness. Formulated without alcohol, mineral oil, colourants, fragrance, fruit acids or phthalates – the emulsion calms skin and can even be used “post-procedure”.
I always think that beauty products which are free from fragrance have a much harder time. Scent is a distraction. It lulls us into the false confidence and reinforces the impression of efficacy. With Orveda, this focused my mind on how my skin actually looked.
I applied the emulsion daily. Orveda recommend that you use the emulsion with their Orveda Healing Sap. As I didn’t have this, I layered it underneath my Margy’s cream.
The ingredients list is impressive containing bio-fermented Kombucha, Alpha-glucan Oligosaccharide (a prebiotic), a marine enzyme, meadowfoam seed oil, botanical glycerin and hyaluronic acid. Furthermore, the product is free from preservatives and as with all Orveda products, the emulsion is vegan and cruelty free.
You may remember that I’m not the biggest fan of hyaluronic acid (click here to find out why), but in this case, it didn’t have the drying effect that I usually find. Instead my skin felt calm and smooth. The texture also improved, becoming more refined and uniform. My husband unusually commented that whatever I was doing, it was definitely a good thing.
This is my kind of product. Expensive – yes. But nuanced and results driven? Check. It’s not a one trick pony sort of cream – not the kind that delivers immediate results and then fades into disappointment. With regular use, you will notice the difference and a better, calmer, smoother complexion.