20 January 2017

Bravura London • Cosmeceutical Skincare

Skin is in. I think most of us now get just as excited about skincare as we do about make-up which is all down to the great brands that are now available to us as the choices are endless seeing as one brand certainly doesn't fit all. This is why trying new brands is the best way to discover those products that really do work for us individually. 

A few months back, I was offered the chance to try an exciting skincare brand that was very targeted to what my skin needed at the time. Bravura London (pronounced Bra-View-Ra) is a British brand dedicated to supplying effective cosmeceutical skincare that focuses on BHA's and AHA's to problem solve your skin. Bravura was founded in 2003 by Amanda Elias, an experienced facial therapist whose own skin led her into discovering the benefits of AHA and BHA's for troubled skins. They were the first UK company to offer at home chemical peels, a huge step seeing as peels were always an expensive salon treatment and never an affordable thing you could do yourself at home. Pretty life changing, or skin changing should I say. Now Bravura have a very successful skincare line that is very affordablehighly effective and available worldwide

They use ingredients that work, simple as. The problem solving range is designed for all skin types because skin issues such as acne or sensitivity can be an issue that can effect us all. When our skin is bad, it makes us feel bad too, so it is great to know there are affordable solutions out there that can really help. 

Bravura London Skincare
My Skin; I have very luckily gone through all my teenage years and adult years without any major skin issues. I was indeed blessed with good normal/combination skin, although I have always taken good care of my skin since my early teens which makes a whole lot of difference to why this is so. I have always removed my make-up before bed because for me it's like brushing my teeth, just something you have to do and is engrained in me to do it automatically. As some of you already know, my beauty career started in skincare, being a Facialist with La Prairie for 6 years before moving on to a few other skincare brands and then into makeup training so skincare has been my career and passion and a topic that I never stop learning about. I have advised and consulted people on their skin for many years but when it comes to dealing with your own skin, it can be a little more trickier. Being a blogger I am very lucky to have the opportunity to try out new products but too many all at once can be bad, so I have to take my time and give them all a fair trial so my skin won't get freaked out by too much change. 

About a year ago now I had some serious hormonal health issues and was subjected to all kinds of chemicals being injected into my body which caused serious side affects to my skin. This is the first time in my life I have suffered with anything more than a 'hormonal break out' and it was hell on earth. I have full sympathy for anyone who knows this story all too well as it really is the worst feeling when your skin is bad. I had cystic acne over my chin area which was not only ugly for me to look at but also very painful. I did not want to be seen, that is how bad I felt. As my health improved, my skin started to slowly recover and I used minimal products but ones that I knew my skin was safe with here and here. I was however left with red scarring around my chin area, blocked pores and a lost glow. So I welcomed Bravura, a skincare line I prayed would help with all these problems being Cosmeceutical not just cosmetic i.e. a product that has or is claimed to have medicinal properties

Bravura London Skincare
Let's talk exfoliation, one thing that is often neglected. We all know how important exfoliation is to our skin and if you didn't, then you really should! There are two types of exfoliation1) Manual and 2) ChemicalManual exfoliators are scrubs that you physically rub into the skin to rid it of dead skin cells where as Chemical exfoliators use chemicals such as BHA's/AHAs/Retinoids etc to help shed your skin faster. Chemical exfoliators can actually be a lot more gentle than manual ones as the scrubbing action can be too much of an irritant for some skin types. Chemical types melt or dissolve the dead skin cells which is a much more effective way of treating your skin. One way is not necessarily better than another, it is just how you personally respond. Which ever way you choose it is important not to over do it at the same time. Either way, exfoliating makes your skin more sensitive to the sun so if you have exfoliated during the day then make sure you use a good SPF to avoid any irritation. 

To make life easy for us all, Bravura have come up with a full skincare line that works to do all the hard work for you, so you are hopefully left with the best skin possible. 

Bravura London Skincare
Image. The bright weighty glass bottles, the dragonfly logo and the rose gold touches all make a great first impression as it really feels like it means 'business' but in a gentle kind of way. It is not an all natural green brand but is animal and vegan friendly which is all good with me. 

Bravura London Skincare
First comes skin prep with Cleansing and Toning....   
Bravura London Skincare, First Cleanse Oil
• First Cleanse Oil 150ml (£14.50) here 
An oil cleanser (complete with pump) which removes makeup and impurities without affecting the skins natural oil balance. Infused with organic chamomile, lavender, rosemary to be a therapeutic experience, not just washing your face. The main oil here is Safflower oil containing linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid that removes dirt and oil without causing any irritation. No matter what skin type you are, oil cleansers are the best for your skin in my opinion. 

I am a huge cleansing oil fan and I was nicely surprised by the very subtle scent and it being so gentle on the skin, feeling hugely hydrating and nourishing. It feels so luxurious and a is very easy oil to use daily. A little goes a long way so this shall last a good while. P.s It also looks very nice sat in the bathroom. 

Ingredients: Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil*, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride(From Coconut Oil), Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil*, PEG-40 Sorbitan Peroleate (emulsifier), Tocopherol (Vit.E), Anthemis Nobilis Oil* (Roman Chamomile Essential Oil), Lavandula Officinalis Oil* (Lavender Essential Oil), Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil*..... *Certified Organic.

Bravura London Skincare, Ginseng Toner Glycolic Acid 5%
• Revitalising Ginseng Toner with Glycolic Acid 5% 150ml (£12.40) here
This is an AHA toner for normal to dry, sensitive skins and is ideal to balance your skin's pH level after cleansing and to prepare for the next products. This is pH4.5 alcohol free. It is infused with botanical extracts and AHA's to help tone, firm and tighten pores and smooth the appearance of the skin, to give a better texture. Ginseng naturally supplies oxygen to the skin whilst the glycolic helps to loosen dead skin cells. 

This is a great dupe for the famous Pixi Glow Tonic and I have to say I prefer this one. This is the product that I was most excited for as my lovely friend Jamey (JamieLynnLoves Blog) raved about this one hence it has been on my wish list for a long time now and it hasn't disappointed me one bit. It feels so gentle and calming yet awakens your skin at the same time. I did feel a slight tingle after using this toner which is simply the ingredients getting to their work; I like the fact I can feel it working. With this, my skin looks so clear, feels smooth and just glows. Having oxygen put back into the skin is key to making it look bright and radiant. This is not your average toner, it's way more advanced than any other so I would definitely recommend trying this one should you need your glow back. I truly adore this product and is one of my favourites out of the whole line. 

Ingredients: Purified Water, Aloe Vera, Witch Hazel, Horse Chestnut Extracts, Glycolic Acid and Ammonium Glycolate, Glycerin, Glucose, Fructose, Sucrose, Urea, Dextrin, Alanine, Glutamic Acid, Hexyl Nicotinate, Ginseng Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Benzoate, Biotin, Polysorbate 20, Fragrant Oil.
Active Ingredients: Glycolic Acid 5%, partially neutralised by Ammonium Hydroxide.

Now onto the treatments ....

Bravura London Skincare
Bravura London Skincare
Bravura London Skincare, Salicylic Acid 2%
Bravura London Skincare, Salicylic Acid 2%
• Salicylic Acid 2% 30ml (£9.59) here
The Spot Buster. Salicylic is a strong BHA acid (pH3) designed to treat oily/acne skin types and helps with issues such as Blackheads, Milia, enlarged pores and Congestion. It has a larger molecular structure than Glycolic acid so it stays on the surface of the skin longer enabling it to 'clear' the skin. 

How to use: Being a liquid, it is very easy to use. Taking a mask brush or fingers, apply a thin layer lightly all over the face or on specific areas. Leave it on for a few minutes then build up your time day by day so that your skin can acclimatise to it. It's super quick and easy taking about 10 minutes in total to do. Although it is a very powerful acid it is less irritating than others making it more suitable for anyone who finds Glycolic too harsh. 

For an acid as high powered as this, it is amazing just how gently it works. I focus this magic potion on concreted areas of my face instead of all over as it's my t-zone that really benefits from this one. It hasn't necessarily made my blackheads disappear as I had them extracted in a facial recently, but they are definitely less visible and the skin on my nose is so much smoother than it was. It is brilliant in dealing with breakouts as this stops them from getting worse hence I think of this as the Spot Buster. Used in conjunction with the Glycolic acid treatment, this duo is a winning recipe to clear skin.

Ingredients: Distilled Water, Salicylic acid, Propylene Glycol, Hexylene Glycol, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Hydroxide. 

DO NOT USE If you are allergic or sensitive to Asprin (salicylic acid is asprin), If you're pregnant/breastfeeding, under the age of 17, if you are undergoing any kind of intense beauty treatment (dermabrasion, glycolic acid treatment, Retin-a, laser therapy etc), if you have any broken veins/capillaries or if you're on medication which increases the skins sensitivity such as (but not limited to) roaccutane and for 12 months after your course has been completed. People who commonly have cold sores may find that chemical peels can cause an outbreak of cold sores and may want to take their medication before use or avoid use altogether, do not apply salicylic acid to your skin while you have an active cold sore. 

Bravura London Skincare, Lactic Acid 10%
• Lactic Acid 10% 30ml infused with Rose (£9.59) here
A mild AHA chemical peel accepted by the body as we naturally produce it with a pH 3.75. This alcohol free chemical peel is infused with Rose Water and ideal for dry and dehydrated skins and those suffering from hyper pigmentation, acne, dullness, dryness, visible ageing or those who just need to freshen up their complexion and bring back the glow. The difference between Lactic and Glycolic Acid is that Lactic Acid is a lot milder and being a humectant it helps the skin to retain its moisture. So for those whose skins are a little parched and are showing those fine dehydration lines, this is the exfoliator for you. 

How to use: Taking a mask brush or fingers (I recommend this Bravura brush here) apply a thin layer, about 1/2 of a dropper lightly all over the face. Leave it on for a few minutes then build up your time day by day so that your skin can acclimatise to it. It's super quick and easy taking about 10 minutes in total to do. Once you are happy with your results you can reduce to using it twice weekly to keep your skin healthy and smooth. It is such an easy step to add into your routine. You can use this every other evening to increase the results and help in lessening the appearance of wrinkles. 

This is a little miracle worker. Firstly this smells so good, literally like fresh roses. It most certainly tones and gives your skin a healthy glow, helping to keep a clear complexion. I felt a slight tingling sensation like I did with the toner but I do know that this is just the dead skin cells being loosened, not my skin peeling as rest assured this does not peel your skin off, none of them do! You may become a little red afterwards as I did the longer I left it on but this literally disappeared within minutes. I would use about twice a week or as and when you need it. I suffer from dehydration as I am always around air conditioning, heating vents and I fly often so all this combined, zaps my skin of all it's moisture. I use this one often to help keep my skin hydrated and looking less lined especially on the forehead. I think many of us would benefit from using this one and have to say it's my favourite!

DO NOT USE If you're pregnant/breastfeeding, if you are undergoing any kind of intense beauty treatment (microdermabrasion, glycolic acid treatment, Retin-a, laser therapy etc), if you have any broken veins/capillaries or if you're on medication which increases the skins sensitivity such as (but not limited to) roaccutane and for 12 months after your course has been completed. People who commonly have cold sores may find that chemical peels can cause an outbreak of cold sores and may want to take their medication before use or avoid use altogether, do not apply lactic acid to your skin while you have an active cold sore.


Bravura London Skincare, Glycolic Acid 10%
 • Glycolic Acid 10% 30ml infused with Lavender (£9.59) here
This mild AHA acid treatment with a pH 3 helps to fade hyper pigmentation from sun damage or acne, reduces the appearance of fine lines, exfoliates dry skin without being harsh and helps reduce breakouts. Working on the top layers of skin, this acid dissolves the 'glue' that holds dead skin cells together and increases new cell turnover resulting in a smoother, more elastic and even skin tone. This helps us to produce more collagen which keeps our skin firm and plump. Bravura do advise that if you have Rosacea then it is best to check with them before purchasing and for blackhead sufferers, use Glycolic and the Salicylic acid 2% together for the most visible results. 

You use this in the same way as the Lactic acid (above) and leave on for between 5-15 minutes. You shall get some tingling and redness as the acid is just speeding up what our skin naturally does but like I said before this goes very quickly. You then rinse and your done. 

Simply Fantastic! Just inhale this is the bottle firstly as the lavender scent is divine. This is the acid that I most excited about as I hoped it would help me get rid of the red scars left around my chin thanks to the cystic acne. Topical treatments can't reverse scarring but peels can make the scars look softer and less visible and really help the skin to renew itself. This has indeed worked wonders. You do have to use it on a regular basis to get the best results but I noticed a change even after one application. One thing I did notice using these treatments is that once you stop using them, your skin stays improved as they have technically 'problem solved' the issue but the more often you use them the better your skin gets. After three weeks of using this one, my skin definitely  looked smoother, less lined and the redness seemed non existent as makeup was no longer needed to disguise the redness. If you find that you have to wear heavy make-up to cover your skin then you NEED to try this one. 

INGREDIENTS: Distilled Water, Lavender Water, Glycolic Acid, Glycerin, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Hydroxide, Hydroxyethyl Cellulose.

DO NOT USE If you're pregnant/breastfeeding, if you are undergoing any kind of intense beauty treatment (microdermabrasion, glycolic acid treatment, Retin-a, laser therapy etc), if you have any broken veins/capillaries or if you're on medication which increases the skins sensitivity such as (but not limited to) roaccutane and for 12 months after your course has been completed. People who commonly have cold sores may find that chemical peels can cause an outbreak of cold sores and may want to take their medication before use or avoid use altogether, do not apply glycolic acid to your skin while you have an active cold sore.

Bravura London Skincare, Azulene Moisturiser
Bravura London Skincare, Azulene Moisturiser
Bravura London Skincare, Azulene Moisturiser
• Azulene Moisturiser 50ml (£9.90) here
This is an unscented, lightweight cream for all skin types especially problem skins and non-sensitive Rosacea to provide instant moisture relief. Packed with calming and healing botanical ingredients such as Azulene a natural skin heal-ant, Aloe Vera and Allantoin this can be used day and night to help soothe and heal all skins, keeping them hydrated and rejuvenated. 

One very interesting point about this cream is that it contains Sodium Hyaluronate which is the salt of hyaluronic acid and has a lower molecular size. This means that active ingredients can deeply penetrate the skin to work faster and more effectively and hold 1000 times its weight in water, which is why we love hyaluronic acid in skincare! This bright blue cream is super light weight, non greasy and feels beautiful on the skin. The gorgeous blue colour drew me in immediately and the rose gold lid makes this a very luxurious looking product, but most importantly one that actually works to make your skin feel comfortable all for under £10?! I use this moisturiser each time I do an acid treatment as I find they  are the perfect partners. This is such a calming cream and a real comfort blanket for irritated and problematic skins so if that is you, you must try this one.

Bravura London Skincare

Now, I never feature myself with no make-up on (I must be mad) but with just some brows and mascara here is my naked (36yr old) skin stripped back; Hand on heart there is no filter, no magic and absolutely nothing on my skin because I just had a facial that day (stay tuned for that) ... 
Skin Selfie
Below with make-up and in fact a very light base which shows good skin makes the world of difference. 
www.kellilash.com
Hats off to Amanda for creating such a unique Cosmeceutical treatment line that dismisses all those old horror stories of chemical peels and made them our friend not an enemy. In truth, you only have too look at her and that flawless skin to know she knows a thing or two! I was very excited yet slightly scared to try the peels I do admit seeing as I had been through such a bad skin ordeal but they have come to be a saviour. If you are wanting to try any of the acids for yourself you can always chat to Amanda directly (here) who is happy to advise you and may recommend a patch test before using if you are concerned. 

After seeing Bravura featured on my Instagram feed many a time, I now get the hype around the brand as you only have to read the comments on the Bravura website (here) to know that I am not the only one who agrees. Over the past 6 months my skin really has changed for the better since introducing these treatments into my skincare routine and they slot in so easily too. I love them all but the stars for me have definitely been the Ginseng Toner, the Glycolic Acid and the Lactic Acid Treatments. 

So many problem solvers at realistic prices that really do make a difference to your skin in times of need so troubled skin doesn't have to be an issue anymore. I am so thankful for this introduction to a wonderful skincare line. 

Have you tried Bravura? Let me know if you have or are tempted to!







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