Skincare is a tricky thing… we all have different skin types and different concerns, and something that works for me may well not work for you – and vice versa!
This is something that remains top of mind as a beauty blogger; I’m well aware of the fact that something that I’ve absolutely loved using and would happily recommend to my readers may not necessarily work as well for them. I’ve thought long and hard about how I might get around this… and then I realised that the answer was right in front of me the whole time! I decided to reach out to a few of my readers and get them to test a bunch of skincare products alongside me – that way, we can offer a thorough, unbiased review together.
A skincare range that’s piqued my interest over the past couple of years is Laboratoire SVR, a French pharmaceutical brand that focuses on treating specific concerns and delivering real, visible results. The range was established in 1962 by visionary French pharmacists, Simone and Robert Veret, who had just one goal in mind: to create beautiful skin.
As someone who struggles with hormonal breakouts, blackheads, and blemishes, I can definitely get behind this – in fact, I think I’ve spent more time and money on skincare in the hopes of achieving beautiful skin than I have on any other aspect of my beauty routine. With that in mind, I was particularly keen to try their Sebiaclear range, which is designed to help eliminate spots, blackheads, and excess sebum.
But then I thought, why not take this review one step further? I enlisted the help of three impartial readers, and asked them to trial a few SVR products that target their specific skincare concerns – think sensitivity, dryness, fine lines and wrinkles, dark spots and uneven skin tone. Here’s a round-up of the skincare products we tried, along with some before and after photographs, and our final thoughts. I hope this helps you to identify which products from the Laboratoire SVR range may help you by treating your specific skincare concerns.
Breakouts and blackheads
Sadly, breakouts aren’t just something that happen when you’re a teenager. Breakouts and blackheads are as a result of excess oil – and oil production is controlled by hormones, so it makes sense that most adult women will develop a spot (or ten) alongside their monthly cycle, during pregnancy, or with the onset of menopause. Other hormonal changes, such as medication, contraception, and breastfeeding, may also trigger breakouts, while stress and a poor diet may affect your skin as well.
How can I treat it?
So what exactly can be done to prevent breakouts and eliminate blackheads for good? While you can’t do much to curb hormonal changes, one of the most important steps in achieving a clearer complexion is to commit to a consistent skincare routine that works for you. Stay clear of harsh products that strip your skin and leave it feeling tight or dry, and choose dermatologist-approved products that are designed specifically for oilier skin types. Avoid using harsh cleansers or soap on your face, and make sure that you moisturise twice daily. It may seem counter-intuitive, but depriving your skin of moisture will only result in it going into overdrive and producing even more sebum (or oil), which – you guessed it – will lead to yet another breakout.
Chereen’s experience with the SVR Sebiaclear range
I have battled with hormonal breakouts since the age of 13, and although some weeks are better than others, it’s a concern that still plagues me – even at the age of 33! I also struggle with visible blackheads on my nose and chin, and have tried just about everything to clear this up.
I’ve used Laboratoire SVR Sun Secure Blur Cream SPF50 and have had great results using Laboratoire SVR Clarial Peel (for pigmentation – see more below), so I couldn’t wait to put the Sebiaclear range to the test. I used the SVR Sebiaclear Gel Moussant (R210 – available here) to cleanse my skin both morning and night, and love that it’s a soap-free cleanser that doesn’t strip my skin of any vital oils or moisture. It purifies the skin and removes all impurities (including makeup), and has a gentle exfoliating effect so it unclogs pores and helps to prevent breakouts and blackheads from forming.
After cleansing, I applied SVR Sebiaclear Hydra Anti-Mark Soothing Repairing Moisturizer, which was specifically developed for acne-prone skin subjected to drying treatments. I found that it provided just the right amount of moisture, without leaving my skin feeling overly greasy or looking shiny. It sits well underneath my makeup, and I’ve definitely noticed an improvement in the appearance of blemishes leftover from previous breakouts. I also noticed that my monthly breakout (which typically occurs about two days before my period starts) wasn’t quite as severe as before. I still had a couple of spots, but nothing quite as hectic as I’m used to!
To help target the few spots that I did get, I applied a dab of SVR Sebiaclear Cicapeel Anti-Spot and Anti-Mark 24-hr Targeted Active Gel (R250 – available here) to each spot, and found that it reduced the appearance of them (along with any redness) literally overnight. I’ve also been applying Cicapeel to any areas prone to blackheads (my nose and chin) and noticed a marked reduction in the number of blackheads after 4 weeks of regular use.
Skin that’s prone to dryness
Contrary to what you may have heard, dry skin and dehydrated skin are two very different things. Truth is, most of us suffer from a dehydrated skin – a skin condition caused by a lack of water or moisture as a result of artificial heating, air-conditioning, and simply not drinking enough water.
Dry skin, on the other hand, is a skin type characterised by fewer oil-producing glands on both the face and the body.
How can I treat it?
Dry skin is an inherent skin condition that will most likely last throughout your life, but you can help ease any tightness, itchiness, or dry patches by ensuring that you use a moisturiser that contains ingredients that prevents water loss and protects your skin’s moisture barrier.
It’s also a good idea to opt for a gentle, soap-free cleanser that won’t strip your skin of vital moisture. (If you’re guilty of using a soap bar to wash your face or body, stop immediately!)
Liezel’s experience with the SVR Hydraliane range
As someone who struggles with dry skin, Liezel was sent SVR Topialyse Gel Lavant Gentle Protective Cleanser (R180 for 200ml), which is a soap-free cleanser designed for use on both face and body. This cleanser is enriched with Omegas 3, 6, and 9 to soothe your skin, and it respects the skin’s hydrolipidic film, helping to reduce sensations of tightness and discomfort at the same time. “I absolutely love this gel cleanser,” enthuses Liezel. “It is well priced, smells amazing, and doesn’t leave my skin feeling tight – just clean and fresh! It’s definitely a product I would purchase and use daily.”
Liezel was also sent both the SVR Hydraline Légère Cream and the SVR Hydraline Riche Intense Moisturising Cream to try. Both moisturisers contain SVR’s unique Physio-Adapted Water, which is rich in trace elements and offers immediate, long-lasting and intense hydration for dry skin types.
Designed for normal to combination skins, Hydraliane Légère is enriched with hydrophilic sugars and helps to seal in moisture. Although it’s ideal for normal to combination skin types that need a little extra dose of hydration during the winter months, Liezel found that it didn’t moisturise her dry skin quite as well as she had hoped “It smells great, but still left me feeling like I needed something more after using it. I decided to persevere for the first week to see how it goes, but my skin wasn’t happy. Since I tried this in the middle of winter, I decided to use a facial oil alongside the moisturiser and VOILA! What a combo – I am loving it! I also like that you don’t need much; a little bit really does go a long way!”
For those with dry skin, like Liezel’s, it’s best to use SVR Hydraliane Riche, which was designed specifically for dry and sensitive skin types that need additional nutrients.
“I was very excited to use these products when they first arrived, and thought that the packaging was beautiful and the instructions were easy to follow. I love that SVR’s products are all dermatologist approved; so much so that the cleanser is even mild enough for use on babies – moms take note!
I can’t wait to see how SVR Hydraliane Légère works during summer – I think it will be perfect!”
Dark spots and pigmentation
Dark spots, pigmentation, and an uneven skin tone are some of the biggest skincare complaints for women in South Africa. These are often as a result of sun exposure, but can be caused by hormonal changes (such as pregnancy or the use of hormonal contraceptives) as well.
Post-inflammatory pigmentation occurs when a skin injury or trauma heals and leaves a patch of discoloration in its wake. This is common in those who struggle with acne, and can also be caused by cosmetic procedures such as dermabrasion or laser treatment.
How can I treat it?
The most important thing you can do for your skin – especially if you battle with dark spots and pigmentation – is to wear SPF on a daily basis. A personal favourite – as mentioned above – is the Laboratoire SVR Sun Secure Blur Cream SPF50.
It’s also advised that you go for regular chemical peels to get to the root of the problem, but if you’d rather treat the problem at home, invest in an at-home overnight peel product, like SVR Clairial Peel Anti-Brown Spot Radiance Depigmenting Accelerator (R660 – available here). This overnight peel gently exfoliates your skin, which removes dead skin cells and helps to increase cell turnover to reveal a brighter, more even-toned complexion with regular use. I’ve used this product on my own dark spots in the past, and have had great results, so I can definitely vouch for it!
Dhanusha’s experience with SVR Laboratoire’s products
Dhanusha describes her skin as combination, with an oily T-zone and dry cheeks, but says her skin is drier during the winter months. Her main concerns are pigmentation and an uneven skin tone, so the Laboratoire SVR team sent her a selection of products from their Clairial range that’s specifically targeted at treating pigmentation.
Dhanusha received the SVR Clairial Serum (R660 – available here), the SVR Clairial Creme 10 (R530 – available here), and the SVR Clairial Peel (mentioned above), along with the SVR Topialyse Gel Devant Gentle Protective Cleanser. This soap-free cleanser respects the skin’s hydrolipidic film, making it ideal for those with sensitive skins or those who are prone to inflammation. (Inflammation caused by skin irritation, breakouts, etc can also cause pigmentation).
After cleansing, Dhanusha applied a thin layer of the SVR Clairal Serum. This serum is said to work in as little as two weeks, helping to brighten the complexion, even out skin tone, and reduce the appearance of even the most stubborn dark spots. She was also sent SVR Clairial Creme 10, which should be applied to targeted areas both morning and night.
She also received the SVR Clairial Peel, which exfoliates the skin and eliminates dark spots and an uneven skin tone. It’s advised that you use this overnight peel on its own (after cleansing) every second night.
“The cleanser is quite gentle on the skin, foams really well, and cleanses the skin thoroughly without causing dryness,” says Dhanusha. “The Clarial Serum is easily absorbed into the skin and feels hydrating, and I definitely noticed an improvement in the overall radiance of my skin.”
“I found that the Clairial Peel felt a bit tingly upon application, but that’s normal for a peel and it didn’t cause any redness or irritation. It’s also very easily absorbed into the skin. I haven’t noticed a huge different in terms of pigmentation, as I’ve only used the products for a couple of weeks and I know that pigmentation is something that requires long-term action, but my skin definitely looks more radiant.”
“I really enjoyed using the SVR Clairial Creme 10 – it felt very rich, creamy, and hydrating. My skin looked plumper, smoother, and more radiant after using these products, and I plan on continuing to use them!”
Sensitive, reactive, and intolerant skin
‘Sensitive skin’ is a term that gets tossed around quite frequently in the skincare world, but unless you suffer from genetic ailments (such as eczema, rosacea, psoriasis, etc) or you experience persistent rashes, stinging, redness, or irritation, you can’t really classify your skin as being sensitive or intolerant. Sure, we all suffer from reactions or rashes from time to time, but unless we struggle with these on a fairly regular basis, it’s unlikely that you’re battling with an actual skin condition.
Those who do have an intolerant skin may experience some or all of the following signs of skin sensitivity:
- redness and flushing
- frequent rashes or tiny, red bumps
- dry patches paired with flaking, scaling, and itchy skin
- broken capillaries (particularly around the nose and cheeks)
- sensitive, dry skin that breaks out frequently
- skin that reacts to changes in temperature (heat and cold)
- skin that can’t handle fragrance at all, or that frequently reacts to skincare products
How can I treat it?
We all have a protective, fatty outer layer on our skin, known as the lipid barrier, which is responsible for keeping moisture in your skin while ensuring that potentially dangerous things (like harsh chemicals, pollution, and UV rays) stay out. If you have a sensitive, reactive skin, it’s likely that your lipid barrier is thinner, weaker, or compromised in some way, making it easier for irritants and harsh chemicals to penetrate the skin and cause inflammation. It also means that it’s easier for moisture to escape from your skin, resulting in dryness and dehydration. This is why skin sensitivity and dryness so often go hand-in-hand.
Given this, your first weapon in the fight against skin sensitivity is to ensure that your skin’s barrier function is repaired and that moisture levels are restored. SVR Sensifine Creme not only hydrates and soothes skin, it also reduces skin reactivity and helps to repair barrier function. It doesn’t contain any surfactants, silicones or mineral oils, and is instantly absorbed and won’t leave your skin feeling greasy.
You should also stop using any harsh cleansers or soaps that contain SLS, and opt for a gentle cleanser with minimal ingredients instead. The Laboratoire SVR Sensifine Dermo-Nettoyent contains just 9 ingredients, which includes Niacinamide to soothe and restore the skin’s barrier function. It also contains absolutely no fragrances, parabens, alcohol, preservatives, silicones, colorants, surfactants (like SLS, mentioned above), mineral oils, paraffin, lanolin, or allergens – perfect for even the most sensitive skins, I’d say!
Danielle’s experience of the SVR Sensifine and SVR Sensifine AR ranges
“I was sent a range of products from the SVR Sensifine and Sensifine AR ranges. The Sensifine range is specifically designed for reactive, intolerant and polyallergic skin, whilst the AR range is targeted at red, sensitive, rosacea-prone skin. I particularly enjoyed using the SVR Sensifine Dermo Nettoyant cleanser and the SVR Sensifine AR Eau Micellaire water, and would consider buying these again.”
“Overall, I did notice some reduction in redness around my nose,eyebrows and mouth, which is even evident in the before and after photos. I did suffer from some hormone-related breakouts during the 3 week period, so I would need to use the products for longer to determine the full effects. I’ve recommended the products to my mom, who suffers from sensitive, rosacea-prone skin, so I’m interested to see how well they work for her.”
For many, the treatment of enlarged pores (and the blackheads that so often accompany them) can feel like a battle that just can’t be won. Although it’s not possible to physically reduce the size of your pores, you can minimise the appearance of enlarged, clogged pores and reduce the number of blackheads with the use of the correct skincare products.
How can I treat it?
First thing’s first: invest in a soap-free cleanser to remove oil, makeup, and other impurities. Exfoliation is also key to help ensure that all dead skin cells are removed and to prevent clogged pores. Laboratoire SVR Sebiaclear Gel Moussant is the perfect cleanser to help combat enlarged pores, blackheads, and breakouts, as it gently cleanses and exfoliates your skin at the same time.
It’s a good idea to choose non-comedogenic products, which basically means that they won’t clog your pores. (This is why Laboratoire SVR is such a good bet, then – all of their products are non-comedogenic).
You may also want to incorporate a product specifically targeting enlarged pores, such as Laboratoire SVR Sebiaclear Mat + Pores Sebum-Regulating Anti-Enlarged-Pore Mattifying Care (R210 – available here). As the full name states, this product regulates the production of oil and corrects pores while moisturising your skin at the same time. It also provides a mattifying effect for up to 8 hours, so it’s ideal for those with oilier skin types (who are typically most prone to enlarged pores). It also boasts a gentle, AHA-free peeling effect to help exfoliate skin and refine its texture.
Andri’s experience with the SVR Sebiaclear range
“Both the cleanser and the SVR Sebiaclear Mat + Pores have a pleasant, fresh scent, which didn’t bother me. The cleanser left my skin feeling soft and smooth – and not overly dry or tight like other cleansers have a tendency to do. I found that it didn’t remove my makeup completely, so I used a wipe or my water-only makeup cloth to remove my makeup before cleansing.”
“The moisturiser has a lovely, light gel-creme texture and it absorbed quickly without feeling sticky. These products definitely improved my skin texture; it’s so much smoother and clearer. I can definitely see myself continuing to use these products and would happily recommend them to my friends!”
Laboratoire SVR is prescribed by leading dermatologists in 45 countries around the globe, and it’s easy to see why. It’s the most concentrated dermatological brand and all products are 100% tested on sensitive skins, so you know that your skin will be well looked after – regardless of your skin type or concern. In fact, Laboratoire SVR has dedicated ranges targeted at a number of concerns, including oily and acne-prone skin, pigmentation, dry skin, rough skin, ageing skin, and delicate or sensitive skin, of course.
You’ll find Laboratoire SVR’s products at Clicks stores nationwide, as well as at select salons and doctors’ offices. For a full list of stockists, visit www.labo-svr.co.za or call 012 548 0725.
Have you tried any of SVR’s products before? I’d love to hear which of their products you’d recommend (or which products you’d most like to try!)
Thank you to Laboratoire SVR for sponsoring this post!
Pssst! Have you read this post featuring some of the newest beauty launches yet? Go have a squizz!