During one of my marathon web surfing sessions searching for facial eczema breakthroughs and treatments, I stumbled across a foundation called Lycogel. Not the most glam sounding product I grant you but, so far, (and I always have to add that caveat as skin care products can turn on me like the wind!) not only have I found a make-up that I can use without it ripping my skin to shreds but I have also found a product that cools, calms and soothes and – now this might be complete fantasy – seems to protect it from all the allergens and irritants out there waging daily battle with my super sensitive and over-reactive skin.
(*p.s. see the end of this post for some Lycogel sample giveaways*)
I firmly believe that there is such power and value in working hard to maintain self-confidence when your skin is doing its best to bring you to your knees. But, I am also the first to admit that if it IS possible to look better I would not ignore that option. I believe that the importance of facing the world when your skin is at its worst and you just can’t look good is a battle worth winning for so many reasons, see earlier posts on this – but, until now, I never had a realistic alternative, at least not one that didn’t cause my skin more irritation and damage.
So, Lycogel, what is it?
Lycogel is a camouflage foundation created primarily for the cover-up and recovery of skin after cosmetic procedures. Apparently its main properties are healing, soothing and non-irritant – the foundation also allows the skin to ‘breathe’ (it supposedly increases oxygen intake). By happy accident, the dermatologists using it for this purpose also discovered that it had positive effects on patients with extremely sensitive skin, eczema, psoriasis and rosacea.
Here’s what one derm had to say about it:
“Women with conditions such as acne, eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, or sensitive skin often find that they are extremely limited, if not prohibited completely, when it comes to what they can put on their face. Lycogel is the first truly breathable foundation that provides flawless coverage while improving and actually helping the skin. Most of our patients were introduced to wearing Lycogel after having a procedure done in the clinic, but now they wear it everyday!” Dr David Eccleston M.B. Ch.B. B.A.C.D
I must admit to getting a little giddy about those claims and, after checking that there were no immediately obvious allergens involved (it’s paraben and fragrance free), I dived straight in and ordered a sample from RedLite Online, the only online skin-care website that seemed to be offering samples.
Now, a quick warning, this stuff is not cheap. Even the teeny tiny sample cost around £5.00. The full bottle is around £45 – but I am prepared to stump-up the cash if it actually does the job, and indeed there are plenty of high-end foundations out there that cost close to that.
When it arrived, free, next-day delivery (thank you RedLite!) I had just recovered from a really nasty flare-up – I think, due to me having a horrible reaction to a test sample of some Bobbi Brown foundations which contained some ingredients that I have previously got on well with (evening primrose, shea butter etc). So my skin was still a little irritated, but pretty stable. Here’s how it looked:
Well, I can tell you the coverage of Lycogel is amazing, but I suppose it would be for something that is marketing itself as camouflage. But what I didn’t expect was how luxurious and ‘high-end cosmetic’ it was going to feel. It glides on like silk, is incredibly easy to blend with fingers, it evens out the skin tone and completely hides redness.
I had more than a few spots that day and it was pretty good at covering those too. It is also almost undetectable on my skin and it doesn’t sit it my creases or in my rather large pores. It doesn’t rub off on my clothes and it stays put all day. But best of all it doesn’t seem to emphasise my flaky patches of dry skin:
There are plenty of shades available and there should be one for most skin tones out there:
I think I’m in-between ‘beige’ and ‘sand’. I’m wearing ‘beige’ in the pictures and I have just forked out for a full bottle in the same colour, I’ll probably have to get ‘Sand’ for summer (better start saving). Here are, from left to right ‘Pearl’, ‘Beige’ and ‘Sand’ swatched on my hand.
Now, after a few days of wear I started to notice a few other things. My skin seemed to be more hydrated than usual, my usual moisturiser wasn’t being lapped up as quickly at the end of the day – it usually soaks into my skin like a bucket of water in a sand dune – and my skin was feeling more comfortable than it had done in a really long time. I might be talking complete rubbish, but Lycogel seems to be offering my skin a protective barrier to all the allergens out there which cause my skin to erupt at the very least a few days a month.
I am so careful about getting too excited about a product because, of course, there is no miracle pot of potion out there that will magically make our eczema disappear, but I am discovering that good management with the right products for me can make all the difference.
I have looked into the ingredients of Lycogel and I have to say I am pretty impressed by what’s in it. Nearly all of them have some sort of proven anti-inflammatory, healing, protective or soothing property – which would make sense for something that you could slap on your face after a chemical peel. For example, included in what they are calling their ‘Lyco-Complex’ is:
- Live Yeast Cell Derivative (LYCD – I guess that’s the ‘Lyc’ in Lycogel), which is anti-inflammatory, anti-irritant, cell renewing, smoothing, and moisturising.
- Acetyl Tetrapeptide-15, which apparently increases the skin’s sensitivity tolerance threshold, making skin less reactive and diminishing sensations of pain and discomfort.
- EpiCalmin TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), which combines three different plants that have been used in traditional Chinese herbal skin treatments. According to the promotional literature from the product manufacturers, this ingredient is, “a protective and soothing ingredient that helps reinforce the skin’s natural defence system. It makes skin feels soft, moisturised and comfortable and improves skin hydration and soothes irritation.”
- Squalane obtained from Olives, an emollient which supposedly mimics our own body’s natural moisturisers
- Olive leaf extract, which apparently has anti-inflammatory and antibiotic agents and can also prolong the shelf life of cosmetics (Lycogel contains no parabens).
- Centella Asiatica Extract – which is also known as ‘gotu kola’ and Indian pennywort, a plant which grows around the Indian ocean. Apparently this has been used traditionally in the management of dermatological conditions, helps with the faster healing of small wounds, scratches and superficial burns, as well as being an anti-inflammatory for eczema.
- Algae extract – in short supposedly acts as a moisturiser and a protective barrier. But if you want to read more, have a look at this study that quite amazingly suggests, in the case of atopic dermatitis, it could reduce the histamine levels and help protect and promote healing.
- Artemisia Vulgaris Extract: derived from the Mugwort plant. According to my research it contains anti-irritant, anti- inflammatory agents that reduce redness and irritation.
- Sodium hyaluronate, aka – Hyaluronic acid, which helps the skin hold on to water.
There are dozens of other ingredients and I have looked into all of them. You can find them here: Lycogel INCI List. The anti-inflammatory, healing and moisturising claims go on and on. These people have really done their homework. And on that note, I do think it’s a bit of a shame that the name and the packaging are quite so clinical, with the quality of these ingredients I can visualise something much more elegant and more consumer friendly. With all those amazing botanical ingredients I would humbly suggest that they take a leaf out of the Liz Earle book of marketing and promotion.
That aside – and who cares what it looks like on the outside when the contents are so brilliant – I truly LOVE this product. What it has done for me so far has been pretty amazing. Not only can I apparently finally wear make-up, not just to cover up any sore or red patches, but on the good days when my skin is fine I can wear it just to look better. And, all the while, safe in the knowledge that all those incredible ingredients are quietly working hard to improve my skin. Too good to be true? I’ll keep you posted.
LYCOGEL SAMPLE GIVEAWAY
Now, when I contacted the good people of Lycogel to ask about their ingredients, they very kindly offered a few samples as giveaways for anyone else suffering from the same problem as me and would like to give it a go. (Please note – that I paid for my own supply of Lycogel). So, if you’re interested in trying it out for yourself leave me a comment telling me why and I’ll let you know if you’re one of the lucky ones. It would also be great if, when you’ve tried it, you write your own review which I will post here.
Make sure you check out the ingredients list here first though to rule out any of your known allergies: Lycogel INCI List