AHA acids have been used in cosmetics since time immemorial, but suddenly it seems like everyone is talking about them. Why do you think that is? I know I haven’t said a word about any such thing…
When Madara, Latvia’s pride and joy, launched its own version of an AHA peel I was so curious I could barely contain myself. I was also surprised since Madara’s creator Lotte is known for being against exfoliation. Perhaps she means the more traditional types of granular peels, of which I’m not a huge fan myself.
It has been interesting to follow Madara’s subtle facelift. There was not a hint of moss green in the Madara advertisement I saw in Stockmann’s window a little while ago, which is a step in the right direction, if you ask me. The packaging of the new Superseed face oils, launched together with the new peel and mask, has also been upgraded. It all seems very promising, and with the way things are going, I think we can expect more from Madara in the not-so-distant future. My respect for the brand is only increased by the story behind it.
Let’s have a look at the products then, shall we.
The Brightening AHA Peel Mask is definitely the most interesting of the new releases, and priced at 25 euros, it is also one of the most affordable fruit acid peels I’ve ever come across. The ingredients don’t disappoint either.
The AHA in this peel is lactic acid, which has been combined with an enzymatic exfoliate called Galactoarabina, harvested from larch trees (nature works in mysterious ways). A lot of information is available on this ingredient, the benefits of which seem to be incredibly diverse. Besides promoting skin cell renewal, it also evens wrinkles, binds moisture, tones the skin, and boosters physical UV-filters. The peel contains purifying and balancing lavender water, vitamin C rich quince extract, as well as calming black elder extract. The peel is suited for dull, ageing, tired, clogged, or blemished skin, as well as acne and pigmentation disorders. Those with sensitive skin should steer clear of this one.
It is a very potent exfoliate, pinching and pricking the skin, as AHA acids are wont to do, and leaving me with a brighter and smoother complexion. I gave a small test tube of it to my mother a month ago, and when I saw her again last week, her wrinkles had been visibly reduced. It isn’t quite as potent as Juice Beauty’s Full Strength peel, but still definitely a product worth recommending.
Although I’m not a fan of the kinds of mud masks that dry on the skin, the Ultra Purifying Mud Mask still piqued my interest. You can of course rinse off the mask before it has a chance to dry and pull on the skin like a plaster cast. The ingredients include forest lake mud, lavender water, lactic acid, algae extract, and water cress extract. This high-mineral detox bomb lives up to sits name – the mask pulls out impurities and minimizes pores. It is suited for blemished, oily, clogged, dull, and irritated skin. Like the peel, however, this product is not well suited for dry or sensitive skin.
There are three versions of the Superseed face oil: Radiant Energy for brightening up tired skin; Soothing Hydration for dry and sensitive skin; and Age Recovery for scarred or lined ageing skin. I was given Radiant Energy and Soothing Hydration for testing.
Can I just say that the cold pressed seed oils in these products are brilliant? Radiant Energy contains jojoba, borage, parsley, blackberry, blueberry, pumpkin, cranberry, and black cumin seed oil, as well as cloudberry extract. This is a really good selection of oils for clogged and dull skin, and in fact, black cumin seed oil is often used by itself to combat impurities. The scent of the product is fresh and citrusy.
I know many of you love fast absorbing dry oils that can be used as primers for your makeup without leaving the skin feeling slick or greasy – which is how I’ve been using Radiant Energy. I’m not exactly a fan of dry oils, though. I like my oil oily, without any thinning or other modification to its consistency. While this is a matter of preference, and though I am absolutely a friend of high technology cosmetics, there are some products where I like to keep things clean. Oil is one of them.
Soothing Hydration is a dry oil with similar consistency to Radiant Energy. While it does contain oils that are clearly beneficial for dry skin, I find the consistency too thin to be properly nourishing. It contains avocado, rose-hip, nightly primrose, black currant, sea buckthorn, broccoli, oat, and cranberry oil. The nourishing ingredients are there, but the consistency is too light, and I would recommend using these oils as serums, applied before your moisturizer.
What do you think of Madara’s new look and new products?
Products provided for testing by the importer
Photos Katja Kokko
Translation Katja Nikula