Lumene of Natural Cosmetics

Beauty | 6.3.2019 | Katja Kokko

In the new Madara Infinity products, Nordic-inspired ingredients meet global trends like K-beauty and probiotic skincare. 

One of my favourite pastimes in the natural cosmetics jungle is to think up synthetic equivalents ­­– even if natural and synthetic cosmetics cannot be compared. Impressions can lead to comparisons, though, like the Finnish Laponie of Scandinavia being like The Ordinary in natural cosmetics with its simple but effective ingredients (but not the looks). Novexpert  is the spitting image of Dermalogica and Naturativ like La Roche Posay or Vichy. In the world of makeup, Zuii is the natural equivalent of MAC. Can you think of some more?

I’ve been following the recent facelift of Latvian brand Madara with great interest. It has developed its brand image at the speed of light with a strong focus on product development. Just recently, they launched a new, slightly more expensive product range Infinity, and the Instagram teasers alone aroused my curiosity even before the products were available to buy. The images made be immediately think of Finnish brand Lumene, and thinking about it some more, I came to the conclusion that Madara is the natural equivalent of Lumene. Also Lumene has developed leaps and bounds over the years, although unfortunately the natural aspect is only halfway.

I got to test the two new Infinity products available at the moment: Infinity Mist Probiotic Essence and  Infinity Drops Immuno-Serum. The products are designed to fortify the skin against external stress factors like pollution, and are suitable for all skin types and ages. Key ingredients include Nordic plants and probiotic extract to balance the skin’s microbiome. The Infinity products come in stylish, minimalist packaging, and especially the serum drops have a luxurious feel. Let’s take a closer look.

Infinity Mist

Infinity Mist Probiotic Essence contains probiotic extract (rather than live probiotics used by Esse). The extract balances the skin’s normal functions and microbiome as well as combats dryness. Madara’s namesake plant bedstraw (Madara in Latvian) is rich in polyphenols that protect the skin from external stress factors. The mist also contains a wealth of hydrating ingredients that are often also found in synthetic products: betaine, glycosaminoglycans, hyaluronic acid, sodium PCA and glucuronic acid ­­– it’s a good example of similarities between natural and synthetic cosmetics.

The Infinity mist has a chic foresty, masculine scent, and I’ve noticed it’s quietly crept its way to the man’s side of the bathroom cabinet. I liked it a lot, too, but it doesn’t achieve the same egg effect as the Whamisa essences despite applying several layers. It’s an excellent product, though, and likely to become a favourite for those who find the Whamisa essences to activating and irritating.

Infinity Mist Probiotic Mist Essence, 40 €/100 ml

Infinity Drops Immuno-Serum

In addition to probiotic extract and bedstraw, the Infinity Drops Immuno-Serum contains shiitake mushroom extract, a trendy ingredient originating from Korean cosmetics. Shiitake mushroom includes brightening kojic acid, which treats scarring and reduces pigment spots, improves skin elasticity and cell renewal, and soothes the skin. It’s a wonderful ingredient to add to a product designed to strengthen the skin. Also the Infinity drops include good sources of hydration, such as hyaluronic acid, betaine and sodium PCA.

The composition of the Infinity drops reminds me more of an essence than a serum. I think it would actually work better as an essence, and as it is, the product seems a little over-priced considering the packaging size of 30 ml.

Infinity Drops Immuno-Serum, 85 €/30 ml

To summarize, the Infinity products are packed with excellent and interesting ingredients, but I’m not so sure about the price-quality ratio considering the small packaging sizes. I would have also appreciated increased hydration; despite the moisturising humectants in the products, the skin isn’t left with that “sticky”, layered feel it should, a tell-tale sign of low concentrations. Perhaps it’s another thing Madara shares in common with Lumene ­­­– the brand is good and products are interesting, but lack effectiveness. Do you get my drift?

Have you already put the new Infinity products to the test?

The tested products are PR samples.

Photos Katja Kokko

Translation Rebecca Watson

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