Friday, November 10, 2006

Product Review: L'Oreal HappyDerm & L'Oreal HydraFresh

Quick! TriBond time! What do the following 3 things have in common? (The links are tips... it's like Brain Spam: Scavenger Hunt Ed. around here!)

~ Winston Churchill's martinis

~ "Classical Music: The Era of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven", by Phillp G. Downs*

~ Calgary (aka: my home town)**

These things are all drier than the Sahara.

Those of you familiar with the Canadian praries will know that "humidity" is pretty much a foreign concept there, especially in the winter time. When 82%*** of the precipitation you get comes in frozen form... well, lets just say that you buy a LOT of rich moisturizers.

Now that I live in "Blame-It-On-The-Lake-Effect" Toronto though, I've been getting by with just using one lightweight moisturizer for day and night.
L'Oreal HappyDerm (for Normal/Oily skin, SPF 15) is simply lovely. It's non-greasy and sinks in fast, but keeps my face from feeling tight or scaley. It doesn't break me out, feels fantastic & smooth going on, and actually seems to improve the condition of my skin. Plus, the citrus-ginger scent and bright colour perk me up, and the SPF 15 is, of course, essential.

As of late though, the skin on my cheeks started to feel kind of flakey and rough. Could it be that I had acclimatized to the Toronto air, and that my beloved HappyDerm wasn't going to cut it in the winter any more?

This was quite the dilemma. Heavier creams have broken me out in the past. Plus, I don't have time in the mornings to wait minutes for my moisturizer to sink in before applying foundation. What to do?

Since HappyDerm had worked so well for me, I decided to try another L'Oreal product. I'd actually purchased the HydraFresh Moisturizer in the summer, when it was on sale. But when I tried it then, I found it too sticky, even when used at night. But 5 months later, it's just the ticket. (Sorry for the not-so-professional picture, I wanted to show the texture, which I think is unique and awesome.)

The Combo/Oily version of this is a cool sorbet-green, and has an airy gel/cream consistency. (The Sensitive/Dry version is pink) Right now, my skin is drinking this stuff up. When I put it on at night, my skin is silky soft the next morning. I don't seem to have the stickiness problem that I did in the summer -- primers and foundation glide on with no problems. It doesn't leave the smooth matte finish that HappyDerm does, but it's still quite nice.

The scent is not peppy like HappyDerm's, but is rather a pleasant soapy fragrance. It doesn't linger after application, but if this bugs you, I suspect that the pink version would be scent free. Best of all, it's done away with the dry patches on my cheeks... my skin feels moisturized, with no breakouts!

Both of these products can be easily found at drugstores or Wal*Mart-type places. Happy Derm goes for about $14 CAD, and Hydra Fresh for about $18. Both have SPF 15 and a light texture, making it ideal for either day or night use.

I still prefer Happy Derm slightly, for the velvety finish and the wicked bottle with the locking pump, but I'll definitely be reaching for Hydra Fresh on those cold blustery days that are looming on the horizon.

PS: For those of you wondering about the SPF-ness of HappyDerm, in Canada, there are 2 versions -- with SPF 15, and without. The pic above is of the version without SPF. The box for the version that I use is shown here (click for bigness). The difference in packaging is really minimal, so make sure to double check which kind you're getting. If you are outside of Canada, I'm not sure that you can get the SPF version. In fact, HappyDerm isn't even on the US site any more, although it does show up on the French site and some other European sites. It was available in Australia a few years ago, but I'm not sure if it's still there now.

* I've never read this. It could be a sparkling and lively tome, for all I know. But somehow I doubt it.
** Much love, Flames! You can make it into the play-offs still! All is not lost! (maybe)
*** This percentage may or may not be correct. I made it up in my head just now.

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At 1:02 p.m., Blogger Kat said...

Talk about dry! My whole body is so parched since winter started around here that I am actually itchy all the time. I catch myself scratching while sitting at my desk and half the time I don't even know I'm doing it! My hands are starting to crack too, thats the worst! Thankfully I've found some heavy duty body butter in a lovely buttercream frosting scent that takes the itchyness away, that is if I remember to apply it in the wee morning hours when I'm still half asleep. I should probably write a review on my poor poor neglected blog. I think my next purchase may be some La Mer lotion for my poor winter ravaged face.

At 2:15 a.m., Blogger The Glitterati said...

That is definitely one thing I don't miss... the dry cracked hands and the itching... eugh. La Mer would make such a killing if they had some kinda marketing blitz on the prairies... the "oil wives" would be aaallll over it. :)

You should totally review the buttercream frosting body butter, it sounds luscious!

At 2:08 a.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love HappyDerm too. Are you sure about SPF 15 ?

At 2:09 p.m., Blogger The Glitterati said...

Hi Ralitsa! Glad to hear you like HappyDerm too! At least in Canada, they sell both an SPF and non-SPF version... it's not very clear on the package, but the one with SPF has a little yellow square on the top right that says "SPF 15". I've put a picture of it up in the post if you want to see (might have to hit refresh on your browser). But it's possible the SPF version is only available in Canada, although I hope not!

At 1:15 p.m., Anonymous fannynanny said...

I really like L'Oreal HappyDerm..can't seem to find it anymore. I live in NL Canada. I have daughters in NS and Ontario and they have been looking to find it there and no luck. Wonder has the product been discontinued in Canada

At 1:37 a.m., Blogger The Glitterati said...

No, I don't seem to see HappyDerm on shelves either anymore. Last I searched (a few months ago) only some European L'Oreal sites had it listed. A shame!

I'm using Garnier's Light series now... it's a brightening line like HappyDerm (but more focus on the brightening/lightening aspect). I use the cream... feels great, and has a refreshing scent. Sadly, it's only marketed in Asia (arrgh!), but I've seen it on eBay and other sites.


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