A loooooooong time ago (like a year), I went to a press launch event for Alcina, which I mentioned on my blog. This serum/gel moisturizer/whatever has actually been sitting in my stash while I finished up other stuff, but I finally cracked it open a couple of weeks ago. You can buy Alcina off Sephora SG, although this particular product seems to be OOS at the moment.
My initial impressions of the line at the launch was that it was kind of boring, but they had some very impressive products, in the makeup department at least. I was also rather skeptical of skincare, because I always feel that Western skincare products lag a little behind Asian ones.
Looking at the CosDNA analysis, this product is already rather unimpressive. The 7th ingredient is Phenoxyethanol, which according to what I have learnt from MusicalHouses, is usually the first preservative and present in concentrations of around 0.1%, so anything listed after that is usually present in tiny amounts. Everything before that is kinda meh – glycerin and all. At least it has Sodium Hyaluronate as advertised.
The bottle comes in a very thick double walled container, although it only has 30ml of product. The pump and bottle is nice enough, no complaints. One full pump gives me sufficient for my whole face. It’s a relatively thick, clear liquid gel consistency – thick enough not to drip everywhere. When you rub it in you actually see white streaks – must be the surfactants or something. But the white streaks rub into the skin. It does absorb quite fast, like it says it will, but leaves a slightly sticky finish behind (likely the glycerin.)
I do feel that this is a nice enough product that plumps up and hydrates my skin sufficiently, especially if I seal it in with a more occlusive product. I don’t see any particularly spectacular improvements, but it does hydrate my skin well. Then again, my skin is quite normal, not oily or dry, so if your skin is dryer it may not be sufficient for you.
The issue I have with this is the price. The listed retail price is like $75, which I think is motherfucking daylight robbery. I mean, Hada Labo (whose whole line is filled with hyaluronic acid) is below $20. Hyaluronic acid is just not that amazing or exotic an ingredient, you know?
Overall, I think this is a solid product that is formulated decently and performs well. It unfortunately is godawfully boring, and godawfully expensive. I can’t recommend it to anyone based on the retail price, knowing that Hada Labo is like 1/3 the cost. I will be finishing mine up since I got it for free, but I wouldn’t be repurchasing.