Disclaimer: This is not a paid review.
I’ve been waiting for so long to write this post and nothing makes me happier than to announce that Benta Berry Paris is finally available in Singapore! About a month ago, the Benta Berry Paris team sent me a preview of their skincare collection and I’ve been raving about it on twitter much to everyone’s annoyance, given that there was no way anyone could actually get their hands on some. It was like dangling candy in front of a baby. But I couldn’t help myself – I was really so head over heels with the entire skincare line!
You know how you always read in magazines about people who swear by a certain product? I never thought I’d be one of those swear by girls. I generally feel pleasantly towards most products, nothing invoking violent expressions of affection from me. It’s an alright way to live. My skin is sensitive and has always been generally problem free, so I’m content to use whatever’s already stocked at home, and failing that, just water. The week before I met the Benta Berry girls though, I’d suffered some form of allergic reaction to another skincare product a different brand had sent me. My skin was rough; ergo so was life. I can try your product, I told them, but my skin is really sensitive so I may not like it. They shook their heads: It’s au naturale – you’ll love it. Typical French, I thought, and then I tried it and life was suddenly wonderful.
Let me tell you about harmatia. Thanks to a combination of relatively good genes and my mother’s incessant boiling of herbal concoctions, I’ve had good skin all my life. Now, that may sound obnoxious, but I’m just telling it as it is. Pimples? I had one on my elbow once. Outbreak? Never heard of it. Puberty? No.. maybe that’s why I never grew tall. So as with all things, I took it for granted. As I grew older, I started spending more time out and less time drinking the homemade goodness that is my mother’s double boiled soup. All my friends started embarking on proper skincare routines, but 1. it was expensive and 2. I found it unnecessary, so I continued washing my face with water. And I realized it way too late, but this had irreversible effects on my skin. People used to tell me that I had great skin, now they just smiled at me. I still had relatively problem free skin, but it was no longer impeccable. I’d lost my glow.
It struck me then that I knew nothing about skincare. I didn’t know what a toner was. I didn’t know how frequently I should exfoliate. The prices of moisturizers daunted me. But as I grew older and started shooting and filming, I used more and more make up with less and less idea of how to clean it off. I’m pretty sure this is common knowledge, but the most important step in any make up routine is cleaning it off. No matter how they dress it up for you, make up is terrible for your skin. And the more you use it, the worse your skin gets – and conversely the more make up you use to cover it up. It’s a catch 22! Your future stretches out before you, and it’s a snowball of foundation and concealer.
Benta Berry was founded by a Parisian who wanted to teach young girls (15-30years old) how to establish a very basic skincare routine using completely natural ingredients from all over the world. What’s your personal skincare routine? the BB girls asked me. I hung my head in shame. I had none. Remember also that during this meeting my face was suffering fallout from allergies and looked terrible. The baseline is, I wasn’t doing so well. Is it overly dramatic to say that Benta Berry saved me? I never thought I’d be someone who ‘raves’ about a product, but we all surprise ourselves sometimes.
The Benta Berry skincare set is very helpfully labeled numerically to tell you what to do. It cuts skincare down to three basic but essential steps: clean, exfoliate, moisturize. The line I’m using is called Benta Berry Girls, and is pretty mild. There’s also the Boys line and the unisex Regulating line for people with more serious acne. Let me take you through my new personal routine:
1. Clean / Gel
Made from pineapple (deep cleansing and regulating), mango (texture refining), lime (brightening) and coconut (softening).
I read in a beauty magazine once – I forget which one – that make up cleansers can be pretty harsh on your skin, and it might be better to wash your face twice with facial wash instead of using a make up remover once. I don’t know how substantial this claim is, but since starting on Benta Berry I use it to remove my make up as well. Of course, when actually washing your face you also remove your eyeliner. I left mine on for the photos and also because vanity, it is a thing.
2. Exfoliate / Soin
Made from ground apricot seeds (excess sebum removal), raspberry (purifying and cleansing), strawberry (radiance), lime (brightening), pineapple (deep cleansing and regulating), and grapefruit (acne reduction, exfoliating, toning, refreshing).
Don’t you just love when scrubs have that tiny berry seeds in them? It just makes you feel so.. squeaky clean. Exfoliation is the cosmetic practice of removing dead skin cells from the top layer of your skin, and makes your skin smoother while allowing your other products to be more easily absorbed. It’s extremely important, but you have to be careful not to overdo it or your skin can be rubbed raw.
You use this twice or thrice a week.
3. Moisturize / crème
Made from apple (softening and moisturizing), Indian fig (exfoliating and hydrating), strawberry (antioxidant for radiance), kiwi (refreshing and hydrating), kigelia africana (firming and evening of skin tone), macadamia oil (softening and nourishing), and pomegranate (for epidermal hydration and water circulation).
When you wash or exfoliate your face, you strip it of moisture. It logically follows that you have to replenish this moisture, or your skin will start becoming very dry, and your body will start to compensate by producing more oil to moisturize it and then you’ll have dry/ oily skin which sounds extremely unappetizing. Using a moisturizer ensures that your skin produces just the right about of oil – and it is this step which I believe makes your skin truly glow.
You use this every day.
That’s all the product I use. I don’t add on anything else, like a toner or anything like that, and these very basic steps made a huge difference to me. In three days, the allergies and rough skin I was sporting had cleared up, and my face was smooth like a baby’s bum. It was amazing. I couldn’t stop touching my face, which sounds weird and which I know sounds weird but I couldn’t stop! The next week, a couple more people commented that my skin looked dewy and amazing, one of them being the boyfriend. And you know you can always count on the boyfriends to notice, because they’re the ones staring at your face close up most of the time..
Other things I love about the Benta Berry line is that it’s completely natural, with no preservatives, using only natural solvents with vegetable origins. It’s also very cleanly produced in eco-friendly circumstances only – they’re very strict about that – so you have a little less guilt on your environmental conscience. But of course all of that takes second place to the fact that it worked such miracles on my skin.
Of course, for your skin to truly glow, you need to help yourself along. Another two things I try my best to do to care for my skin:
4. Drink 8 glasses of water a day
I’m not even kidding about this. When I was a kid, I saw a blurb in a magazine saying that drinking enough water was more effective than using all the most expensive night creams on the market. In Singapore, because the weather is hot, we tend to drink slightly more water. But in Germany I realized that I truly don’t have a water habit – because it wasn’t humid or warm, I would completely forget to pick up a glass of water. It creeped me out. I literally had to download an app that recorded my water drinking so I would force myself to drink more water. I started out using an app that gave me a gold star for every glass I drank (lol), but now I use Argus because it tracks more things, like your caffeine and fruit intake and all that.
Drinking sufficient amounts of water is incredibly important not just for your skin, but for other things as well. If you don’t get enough water, your body ironically starts raising its water retention levels and then you start puffing up. It’s such a pain. Water flushes out all the toxins in your blood and is essentially the secret to eternal youth, so just drink up, okay?
5. Get sufficient sleep
This sounds like a no brainer but it’s surprisingly difficult in Singapore. It’s not just about how much you sleep, it’s also about when. 11pm – 2am is, according to every skincare expert I’ve spoken to, is the best time to sleep because it’s when your skin’s self-repairing function is at its most intense.
Now, we know this, but the feasibility of it is a different matter..
One last point. Even if you have good skin, beauticians normally recommend that you get a facial once every three weeks to a month for deep cleansing purposes. I don’t know if I can fully get behind this idea because facials are expensive, especially the good ones, and if you’re a student or a fresh working professional this may not be very workable. My alternative is for you to invest in skincare and work hard at maintaining good skin on a daily basis, and go for a facial whenever you feel like indulging. I use Benta Berry, obviously, but you figure out whatever works for you and stick to it!
Right now, Benta Berry isn’t available in physical stores yet, but I’m given to understand that they might be coming to Sephora soon. If you’re keen on getting your own Benta Berry products, you can get them off the Le Bono website here.
I’m now a swear-by girl – thank you for everything, Benta Berry Paris!