American natural cosmetic brand MyChelle was launched in the States over a decade ago and it has taken some time to journey to within reach of the ‘free from’ hungry skincare aficionados this side of the pond. But that moment of launch in the UK has, at last, arrived.
There are a number of attractive qualities to the range. One which we particularly like is that the products appear results-focused: the claim is that the cosmetics are formulated to deliver ‘exceptional targeted results’, specifically tackling and addressing particular problem skin issues. These include blemishes, acne, hyper-pigmentation, ageing, inflammation and sensitivity.
Naturally, there is an identifiably American feel to the products – not only as far as the less significant aspects of packaging, font and text are concerned, including an occasional instruction to use a ‘nickel-sized amount’ of product, but also with respect to the ingredients themselves: pumpkin and apple, more commonly associated with pies, crop up in a number of the cosmetics, but they don’t feel incongruous alongside the brand’s various unique complexes and more exotic botanical ingredients, such as mangosteen and acai. The American qualities are never too overwhelming, though, and will probably serve to distinguish the brand from the European and Antipodean natural skincare names the British market is perhaps more accostumed to.
Skins Matter tried two products. The first was the G2 Instant Firming Serum (£52.50, 30ml), with key ingredients of Instalift™ (goji berry polypeptides) and Argireline™ which both smooth wrinkles, and an extract of fermented pomegranates as a protection against further free-radical damage which can contribute towards signs of ageing. Other ingredients include witch hazel (which characterises the fragrance, but freshly and lightly), vetiver, neroli and honeysuckle. Our tester thought the product expensive, but that very little was needed to have a relatively quick effect. The product glides on easily, smoothly and gently, and feels as if it goes to work quickly, with a noticeable light tightening. Our tester says she will look forward to seeing how the product performs long-term, as it will last some considerable time, especially if you’re only targeting a small area (eg crows’ feet).
The second product we trialled was the Creamy Pumpkin Cleanser (£15.50/£9, 125ml/60ml): a delicately pale-pink/orange coloured cream, which our tester found took a few seconds to get going, but which cleansed very effectively without drying once it did, rinsing off easily. Ingredients include cinnamon, clove and nutmeg, which were subtly detectable, but the dominant fragrance was a lovely honeysuckle one, which curiously comes further down the list of ingredients than the ‘Christmas’ spices. Our tester liked it a lot and very usefully it comes in a smaller trial-friendly size too.
There look to be many other interesting products with curious ingredients in the range, which all fit into the five-steps ‘cleanse, treat, serum, mist, nourish’ regime which the manufacturers recommend, depending on your
skin type or issue – both of which are clearly coded and colour-identified on the packaging. These include the Fruit Enzyme Scrub (£15.50, 65ml) with jojoba beads and bamboo stem powder, the Ultimate Lash and Brow Serum (£52.50, 15ml) with apple fruit stem cells and cactus flower, and the Apple Brightening Peel (£29.00, 34ml), with mulberry bark extract.
We are, of course, always keen on ‘free from’ attributes at Skins Matter, and MyChelle does acknowledge absent ingredients, which we were glad to see. Its labelling reads “Always free of harmful ingredients, such as parabens, phthalates, ureas, petroleum-based chemicals and artificial colours”. Located separately to the ‘free from’ declaration was confirmation of gluten-free and vegan-friendly (and hence egg and dairy free) status – although we did notice that the Creamy Pumpkin Cleanser contained honey, which is not vegan.
We look forward to trying more MyChelle products in the future and seeing how this very successful North American range is received in the British market.
It’s available now from Whole Foods Market and www.mychelleuk.com with other stockists forthcoming.
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