Ever since I discovered that my skin was dehydration-prone, I’ve made a special effort to use skincare containing humectant ingredients to help my skin hold onto more moisture. My skin’s particularly troublesome in winter and spring, where my colds and allergies cause the already troubled dehydrated skin to chafe. Qlabo Skincare has two products designed to solve this issue: Eauphoria Complete Moisture Treatment and Collagenerous Advanced Youth Regenerator.
Qlabo is a Singapore-based skincare brand with Swiss-developed products. They purposely cater to sensitive skin, with high performing, non-irritating products that don’t contain alcohol, parabens, phenoxyethanol, isothiazolinone, allergens or colorants. However, unlike a lot of “free from” brands, they don’t try to say that these ingredients are bad for everyone, just that they should be avoided if you’re sensitive to them. Massive props for the honesty!
Eauphoria Complete Moisture Treatment
(Note: eau = water in French – I can’t not love a punny name!)
Eauphoria is made to counteract the thirsty dull tone of dehydrated skin in a few ways. It’s a watery gel serum that’s incredibly light and fast-absorbing. It comes in a squeeze tube, with a handy dot on the back of the packaging that shows you how much you should apply (why don’t more companies do this? Especially sunscreen companies!). Eauphoria has a very mild rose scent that you’d have to look for to notice.
Here’s the ingredients list:
Aqua (Water), Rosa Damascena Flower Water, Propanediol, Niacinamide, Glycerin, Methyl Gluceth-20, Polysorbate 20, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein, Carbomer, Ethylhexylglycerin, Chlorphenesin, Trehalose, Disodium EDTA, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Benzoate.
Firstly, it contains a whole ton of humectant moisturising ingredients, which are my favourite moisturisers right now. Humectants hold onto water and prevent it evaporating. This makes them perfect for hydrating parched skin. Eauphoria’s humectants are:
- Hyaluronic acid – There’s both high and low molecular weight versions in this. High molecular weight hyaluronic acid acts as a highly powerful humectant, capable of binding over 1000 times its own weight in water and holding it at the top of your skin where water is needed. Low molecular weight hyaluronic acid is small enough to penetrate through skin to hold onto water deeper down, giving deeper hydration that could decrease wrinkle depth.
- Hydrolysed vegetable protein – This is a mixture of amino acids and short chain peptides much like those found in the skin’s natural moisturising factor (NMF), found naturally in the skin. The NMF is water soluble so it gets depleted with washing, so products containing hydrolysed proteins can help replenish it.
- Trehalose – Trehalose is very similar to regular table sugar (sucrose), and has a high affinity for water.
- Glycerin – Glycerin isn’t a particularly glamorous humectant and turns up a lot in budget products, but… it works. Really well. As well as binding water to skin, it improves the function of water channels in the skin called aquaporins.
As well as humectants, it contains 4% niacinamide for barrier protection. Niacinamide improves your skin’s barrier function by stimulating the production of ceramides and free fatty acids, important oily components in skin. This helps your skin protect itself from irritants and damage. It also has a ton of other benefits including acting as an antioxidant to protect your skin from free radicals, decreasing redness and fine lines, and reducing hyperpigmentation and acne.
Despite all these benefits, Eauphoria’s ingredients list is a lot shorter than similar products, which goes with Qlabo’s ethos of being suitable for sensitive skin – the less things in a product, the lower your chance of a reaction, and if a reaction happens it’ll be easier to trace. It does contain rose water as its second ingredient though, so if you’re allergic to rose it’s best to stay away.
I found Eauphoria to be great at hydrating my skin, and I love the fact it’s super lightweight and feels like nothing, which means I can use it under my sunscreen in the daytime without worrying about it interfering too much with coverage. I also love the high niacinamide content – I’ve been meaning to use more niacinamide but it’s difficult to incorporate into my already-complicated routine.
Collagenerous Advanced Youth Regenerator
Collagenerous is branded as “time travel for your skin”, promising to deliver visible anti-aging results in 15 days. It’s a white cream housed in an opaque airless pump to reduce light and air degradation. Two pumps applied morning and evening is recommended. It’s designed to restore collagen, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, moisturise and fight free radicals. The ingredients list:
Aqua (Water), Dimethicone, Polyacrylate-13, Propanediol, Cyclopentasiloxane, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Silybum Marianum Seed Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Polyisobutene, Glycerin, Cyclohexasiloxane, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein, Ethylhexylglycerin, Allantoin, Chlorphenesin, Trehalose, Xanthan Gum, Polysorbate 20, Disodium EDTA, Laminaria Ochroleuca Extract, Methylglucoside Phosphate, Sodium Carboxymethyl Beta-Glucan, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-Di-t-Butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, Copper Lysinate/Prolinate, Sodium Benzoate.
Collagenerous contains many of the same hydrating humectant ingredients as Eauphoria (trehalose, hydrolysed vegetable protein, glycerin) as well a couple of fancy-sounding ingredients that claim to increase collagen in the skin. Annoyingly, there aren’t any unbiased independent studies so we have to take the claims with a grain of salt.
Copper lysinate/prolinate (Neodermyl) is the key ingredient that gives Collagenerous its 15 day claim. According to the supplier’s in vitro (cell) studies, it increases collagen I and III and elastin. Collagen density, firmness, elasticity and wrinkles were all impressively improved after 15 days in 20 volunteers (average age 67, vs placebo). The wrinkle improvement reported was 15%, equivalent to one injection of collagen filler. Collagenerous also contains hydrolysed collagen (Peptan SR) and Laminaria ochroleuca (golden seaweed) extract which both have in vitro studies from their manufacturers where they increased collagen in the skin, but I’m waiting for independent clinical studies before getting too enthusiastically on that train.
On the anti-irritant and anti-inflammatory front, Laminaria ochroleuca extract pops up again – there’s a peer-reviewed study on mice where it decreased inflammation. There’s also allantoin, the main active in comfrey, which has an evidence-based reputation as a soothing anti-irritant that helps wound healing and encourages exfoliation. It also acts as an antioxidant to neutralise free radicals. Silybum marianum (milk thistle) seed oil also contains silymarin and vitamin E for antioxidant protection.
Collagenerous is a little bit more substantial in texture than Eauphoria. This is mostly from dimethicone, which helps trap the water against your skin, in addition to smoothing out lines and pores. It glides on nicely, sinks in quickly and doesn’t feel particularly heavy or noticeable on the skin. I found that it worked nicely as a light night cream, as well as a smoothing serum under my makeup during the day. Since I don’t have many fine lines or wrinkles yet, I didn’t see any improvement on that front.
Combined with Eauphoria, I found that Collagenerous kept my skin bouncy and hydrated through a few harsh winter weeks, without the uncomfortable stickiness or constricting film feeling that you usually get from humectant-rich products. I preferred Eauphoria since my main skin concern is dehydration, but if you’re worried about wrinkles, I’d recommend trying Collagenerous before turning to the needle. Eauphoria will be a staple in my daytime routine to ward off late-afternoon tired skin!
Both products are available from the Qlabo website. Eauphoria is $28 for 30 mL or $42 for 60 mL, and Collagenerous is $50 for 30 mL or $72 for 60 mL. You can get a set of both (30 mL each) for $62.
This is a sponsored post; however, the opinions expressed are still my honest opinions of the products. For more information, see Disclosure Policy.