Once in a while a new brand totally takes you by surprise, surpassing your every expectation and take away any prejudices you might have had before. 001 skincare (Doublezeroone skincare ) just so happened to pull that one off this year! As beauty/lifestyle/fashion bloggers we see a lot of brands come and go, feast our eyes on more product releases than we can keep track of and test more than our fair share of products, so when a brand leaves a lasting impression, not wanting to move on to the newest launch, that’s something to be celebrated.
Created by Ada Ooi (001 being a visual representation of her name), 001 skincare took inspiration from her childhood in Hong Kong, where she grew up being fascinated by the application of centuries worth of traditional therapies and apothecary to rebalance body and soul, skin and mind. After retraining as an aromatherapist and beauty therapist, Ada took it one step further and decided to apply her childhood fascination into a hybrid skincare line, blending science and natural ingredients to focus on rebalancing skin and prevent premature ageing by combating environmental aggressors. By combining natural, worldwide sourced ingredients with bio-chemical formulations, Ada Ooi created not one but two collections, the 001 Classic ( for daily skincare ) and 001 Precious Finds ( for more luxuriously intensive treatments ).
001 skincare isn’t Soil Certified, as Ada Ooi does not want her line to ride the current wave of popularity of organic skincare, nor are her products completely 100% natural, though the ingredients are (the formulations aren’t always). Bonus points for honesty and transparancy! Every single one of her products contain a powerful blend of active ingredients, including vitamins, marine algaes, minerals, pure essential and plant oils and extracts. As perfect as this concoction might sound in theory, I still had to put it to the test, and the circumstances weren’t ideal. After a strong allergic reaction to another product (want to know what happened? Check this post), my skin was not in tip top shape. Red, sore bumps alternating with dry, flaky patches, with a rash to top it off! Unlike some other brands, 001 skincare won’t promise you the un-obtainable, instead they promote the combination of her products with certain application techniques such as a facial massage, allowing the product to penetrate deeper and work harder. So far this theory class, now on to the trialling. I was given the chance to test 3 products from the 001 Classic line, ie The Exfoliating & Conditioning Cleanser*, The Pure Lavender Hydrolat Toner*, and The Active Marine Power Concentrate*.
Step one was the Exfoliating & Conditioning Cleanser*, that I gently massaged into dry skin before wetting my hands and slowly turn the oil into a milky consistency. Texture wise this is a funny one, thicker than an oil but not as dense as a cream or a balm, nor as watery as a gel. Truly hibrid, like an oil gel. Not only does it cleanse my skin in a delicate yet effective manner, the natural Lactic Acid also provides a soft exfoliation. Added L-Carnitine, a naturally occurring amino-acid like substance boosts cell regeneration, whereas the natural essences of Vanilla, Fennel and Melissa soothe, purify and de-puff my skin. However, as this cleanser lightly foams when I massage it into dry skin, it does have a slight drying effect, meaning that I have to follow it up with some hydration. Far more important (to me) was the calming effect this cleanser had, not only was I suffering from that allergic reaction, the added stress at the time didn’t help either. Over the course of a few days, the red bumps diminished, the flakiness disappeared, my cheeks didn’t heat up all the time and my skin tone evened out. Long story short, this cleanser performs triple duty, it completely eliminates all that morning puffiness, it relaxes and calms my skin at night and somehow manages to give this beautiful, can’t fake it radiant glow.
For step 2, I pull out the Pure Lavender Hydrolat Toner*, probably the most versitale product of the range. According to the brand, it can be used as a toner, a gentle cleanser, mask, aftershave, a little refreshing boost throughout the day, as a make up ‘setter’ or even as a light hydrator (please check this little must read!). Toners are still a step many think unnecessary and just skip in their routine, but they have proven their value, and do a lot more than just remove the last traces of cleanser. Additionally, they also level your skin’s pH balance, add moisture to the skin by boostng the humectant ingredients in your other products and safeguard the general health of your skin layers. Hydrolat lavender is the prime ingredient of this toner, hydrolate lavender being the distillate collected from the lavender’s essential oils. Unlike in other formulations this distillate hasn’t been diluted, so the purity of the lavender concentrate is incredibly high, meaning that even the softest spritz has an effect on your skin. Lavender has always been one of the hero ingredients in skin care, being credited with anti-allergenic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antibacterial, regenerating, anti-ageing, balancing, energising, soothing, healing, toning and stimulating capacities. It works well on all skin types and is effective in treating oily skin as well as acne, dermatitis, eczema and psoriasis (Michalun & Michalun, 2010). I’ve tested every usage proposed by the brand, but I prefer using it as a toner spray after cleansing, as a little boost throughout the day (and it makes my make up keep longer) or as a mask. That last usage really surprised me the most, whenever my skin looks patchy and red from stress or exhaustion, I just cover my face in thin cotton pads spritzed with the toner, let it sink in for 5 to 10 minutes, and the redness and flushed heat just disappears.
Lastly, the Active Marine Concentrate* comes into play. A marine algae-based concentrated serum that is filled to the brim with an ingredient list that reads likes the who’s who of what’s good for you: Omega 3,6 and 9, stabilised Vitamin C, Green Tea & natural citrus essences (great anti-ageing and anti-oxidant benefits!), Aloe Vera and rich marine algaes to restore your lipid synthesis and heavily up your collagen creation and cell turnover. As if that wasn’t enough to make want to dive right in and try it, it can also be used as a eye contour treatment, eliminating another product in your routine whenever you’re pressed for time. Again, the texture is quite unlike any other serum, it’s clear, velvet-soft, somewhat thicker gel glides onto the skin as if it were a soft silk blouse for your face, and it inmediately sinks in. Nothing watery, nothing sticky, this is pure softness in a bottle. Again, it is not hydrating enough for my Sahara-dry skin, but that’s not the purpose of this serum, as I love it for it’s anti-ageing properties, and happily combine it with a hydrating oil or cream to get it to the level of comfort where I need it to be. Skin is plumper than before, my skin tone is far more even than before my disastrous skin experiment and feels a lot stronger and les sensitive, less prone to break out or become Mrs Red Cheeks whenever, wherever.
Every product comes in a beautiful dark, glass bottle, ensuring that the product housed inside is not only more effective, less in contact with light and air and longer lasting. A beautiful touch are the literary quotes on the back of each bottle, designed to inspire your every morning or night. A true discovery, this British brand, and one of the few I would wholeheartedly recommend to anyone looking for a premium brand that delivers! I don’t know what it is, but there is something about the great, green isle across the Channel that seems to be an inspirational places for fabulous skincare brands.
Exfoliating & Conditioning Cleanser: £ 23 / 100 ml
Pure Lavender Hydrolate Toner: £15 – £ 25 / 30 ml – 100 ml
Active Marine Concentrate – £ 49 / 30 mls
Available via http://001skincare.com/