These days, green beauty lovers are spoiled for choice when it comes to picking a face oil. The market place is littered with brands offering so many different types of oils, and chances are that it’s not too difficult to find one that suits your skin type and your wallet. And of course, new brands pop up every single day, with pretty much the same offerings (an oil, a balm, a grain cleanser, a floral toner…). So, herein lies the conundrum for someone new to the green beauty scene – how do you pick one that’s guaranteed to deliver results?
Yuli is one brand I’ve grown to trust over the last couple of years. It’s always exciting to share my Yuli experience, not only due to their unique blends, but also because the brand has somewhat of a cult following. Where sending free products in return for (unspoken) positive reviews is commonplace, this is one brand that actively shuns the practice, and in fact, relies on word of mouth marketing, and most importantly, on the stellar performance of its products. And this is precisely one of the reasons when you come across a review for Yuli’s product, you can trust it’s not paid for (directly or indirectly). After using Yuli’s Modern Alchemist religiously for 6+ months and finishing off about 60% of the bottle, I think I have finally gathered my thoughts.
The Modern Alchemist ($125/1 oz) is first and foremost, to borrow the official product description, “an intensive anti-aging concentrate for Normal/Dry or Mature skin”. I tested this product starting August of last year; religiously applied at least once a day (most often, twice), as the weather turned cooler. For record, I have combination acne prone skin that’s easily clogged, and have some fine lines around my eyes and mouth. I don’t really fit the target customer group for this serum, but nonetheless, the serum has been extremely nourishing for my skin. Initially, I did have my reservations about buying a “heavier” serum, worried that it might be a little too rich, but I finally caved in due to its skin plumping and skin elasticity restoration benefits. If some other brand were selling a similar product, then I would have though twice, but this facial serum although heavier, hasn’t clogged my skin or caused additional breakouts. I travelled internationally a couple of times relying on this serum solely, and was able to prevent travel/jet lag related breakouts. The third decade of my life hasn’t been super kind to my skin (main issue: sudden advent of hormonal acne) – I have started worrying about the advent of wrinkles, sun spots, sagging skin et al, and was actively looking for a natural source of retinols, and this serum fits the bill perfectly.
Although the main selling point of this serum is the presence of photo stable bio-retinol complex, it is also loaded with additional nourishing ingredients: Fatty acids (Omega 3,6 & 9) to soften fine lines and plump your skin, Rosehip seed extract, Frankincense, Rose, and Helichrysum, Indian Fig Seed (Prickly Pear/Barbary Fig) Oil, CoQ10, and very interestingly, Tamarind Seed Infusion. These fabulous ingredients work together to correct existing damage, prevent any additional damage, and keep your skin looking smooth and supple. The Rose and Frankincense oils impart a very slight rose fragrance to the oil, especially welcoming during night time, when you just need that extra zing to calm yourself.
I can’t speak much about “turning back the clock”, “younger looking” skin effect, because that’s not the primary reason I buy skincare. We can buy all the lotions and potions in this world, but a 50 year old will not look like a 20 year old – in fact, this whole idea of “anti aging” is very horrifying to me. We can strive for healthy skin, and treat our skin concerns with effective products, and that is what should really be our aim. So, the main reason I buy a quality face oil is to treat my hyper pigmentation, old acne scars, prevent future breakouts, and plump the fine lines around my eyes and my mouth, and this oil performs fabulously in these areas. I used to have some dark acne scars in my right cheek which have faded to the point where they’re almost unnoticeable – and no, it’s not just me imagining it, because my Asian mom commented on it too (if you have an Asian mom, you’ll know what I’m talking about – the first thing they notice and comment on when they meet you after a year is your skin and hair condition. Asian moms, with their no-nonsense, frank talks are really the ultimate authority when it comes to evaluating skincare results).
Modern Alchemist includes proteins, phytonutrients that stimulate new cell growth, and also nourish and improve acne pits (at least for me). For me and other acne sufferers, this is great news because you don’t have to buy specific oils to treat specific concerns, and in fact, there are oils out there, such as this, which address a variety of concerns. As mentioned in my earlier review of Cell Perfecto PM, I was able to extend the usage of the same bottle of CPM for almost a year, since I was rotating between CPM, Modern Alchemist and Liquid Courage. As a customer, you get a lot for your dollar if you’re not tied to one specific serum and this is precisely the beauty of Yuli’s face oils – pick one and it will address not only the main concern it is marketed for, but also improve your skin overall.
My advice for those thinking about starting your Yuli Skincare journey would be – Liquid Courage for Spring and Summer, Modern Alchemist for Fall and Winter, and Cell Perfecto PM year round. This really makes so much sense (in my head) because Liquid Courage is a lighter oil with loads of antioxidants (which you need as the weather is getting warmer), Modern Alchemist is slightly heavier and even more nourishing (serves well when the temperature drops), and Cell Perfecto PM is a night time oil that can be used whenever an extra shot of treatment is required. If you can’t buy all three oils, pick any one and stick with it, due to the reasons mentioned in earlier paragraphs.
Yuli’s website offers deluxe samples of Modern Alchemist – $50 for 7.5 ml/0.25 oz. This is considerably more expensive than what you would shell out for a full size, but comparing it to Odacitè’s two-three ingredient oils, you’re getting a steal.
Ingredients from the website:
A. spinosa (Argan) oil*, Bio-retinol Complex* (R. rubiginosa, D. carota, I. batatas, B. officinalis, M. glabra), A. digitata (Baobab) oil* infused with H. italicum flower + R. officinalis, Omega-Lipid Complex^^ (Supercritical extract of H. rhamnoides (Sea Buckthorn) seed + H. rhamnoides (Sea Buckthorn) berry, B. officinalis (Borage)), P. Americana (Avocado) oil*, O. ficus-indica (Indian Fig) seed oil*, R. chamaemorus (Cloudberry) seed oil, Supercritical extracts of R. rubiginosa (Rosehip)*, Supercritical Extract of A. caudatus (Amaranth)*, H. italicum (Helichrysum)* extract, Squalene, Bio-ferment T.Indica (Tamarind) seed* infusion, B. carterii (Frankincense) extract*, D. carota (Carrot) seed extract^^, R. damascena (Rose)* extract, C. sinensis (Green tea) extract, L. Chinese (Goji) extract, Plant Sterols, Liquid CoEnzyme Q10 from Amaranth Seed, D-alpha tocopherol (Vitamin E)