Bellflower Hibiscus Anti-Aging Serum

the claim

The Bellflower Hibiscus Anti-Aging Serum uses Hibiscus flower extract together with Niacinamide, Adenosine and a complex multi-peptide to deliver healthy, moisturised and smooth skin with increased elasticity.
 
Bellflower Hibiscus Anti-Aging Serum
 

the science

The hero of the formula is of course Hibiscus Flower Extract, present at a concentration of 15,000 ppm and placed 7th on the INCI following Niacinamide. It is packed with antioxidants including Vitamins C and E, Anthocyanins and Polyphenols that provide a strong defense against free radicals as well as helping prevent spots and freckles. Able to assist with collagen production and boost skin elasticity, its anti-ageing prowess has earned it the nickname “Botox Plant”. A high mucilage content (a gelatinous substance that contains protein and polysaccharides) makes it a great moisturizer too. Hibiscus also contains gentle acids that have a slight exfoliating effect on the skin. Natural AHAs help to purify by breaking down dead skin and increasing cell turnover as well assisting to control acne breakouts.

Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) is a superstar ingredient that acts as a restorative agent and is included at 2% in the formula. It helps to brighten skin by inhibiting melanin production and is also an effective treatment against hyperpigmentation. Niacinamide can improve the appearance of enlarged pores, uneven skin tone, fine lines and dullness plus strengthen the skin surface. Another of the star ingredients acts as a soothing and skin-restoring agent. Adenosine (0.04%) has proven anti-wrinkle benefits due to its ability to energize the skin’s surface, helping it to look smoother and younger.

The 7-Peptide Complex features towards the end of the INCI and comprises Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, Copper Tripeptide-1, Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4, Tripeptide-1, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1, Hexapeptide-9 and Nonapeptide-1. Peptides are fragments of proteins made up of amino acids combined in specific ways that help skin to retain firmness and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Peptides can help revitalize skin’s building blocks to become more resilient. (Worth noting that Hydrolyzed Collagen which also appears in the formulation is a protein that is readily absorbed by the body. It is broken down into peptides to boost collagen synthesis).
 
According to Dr. Deanne Robinson, partner at Modern Dermatology in Westport, CT:

Peptides serve as the building blocks for not only new collagen, but also elastin fibers. These fibers are the building blocks of our skin and add to tissue firmness and elasticity.

We lose 1% of our remaining collagen per year after age 30. Our skin’s natural communication channels also slow down over time.

 
Furthermore, Dr Whitney Bowe, renowned New York City–based dermatologist and author states:

Your body sees these peptides as ‘signals’ that you need to heal, which tells your body to produce more collagen where you need it most…. If your skin is aging prematurely, those peptides might signal your skin to boost its production of collagen and even hyaluronic acid, plumping up your skin and restoring a healthy skin barrier. When you introduce exogenous peptides onto the skin in the form of a moisturizer or serum, it tricks the skin into thinking there’s been an injury or wound, and it stimulates our collagen-boosting processes.

 
Bellflower Hibiscus Anti-Aging Serum
There are additional ingredients added for their anti-ageing properties. Arginine is a multifunctional ingredient that is included for its versatility. Antioxidant properties help to defend against free radicals that can contribute to the formation of premature wrinkles. It also displays an ability to increase skin hydration with humectant behaviour. Increasing the amount of collagen in the skin improves skin firmness and decreases signs of aging. Arginine is able to boost collagen production.

Acorus Calamus Root Extract helps to reduce inflammation and accelerate healing by promoting cell regeneration which in turn also maintains youthful suppleness to deliver a radiant and fresh complexion. A good source of flavonoids and saponins is Honeysuckle Extract which is able to both boost antioxidant content and sooth the skin.

There are plenty of hydrating and moisturising components to the formula. Leading in concentration is commonly used humectant Glycerin which can draw water from the atmosphere into the skin. This is well supported by Butylene Glycol (2nd on the INCI) which also helps to increase the penetration of other ingredients and hence boost their effectiveness. Other renowned moisturisers include Sodium Hyaluronate which assists to hydrate the skin through an ability to bind to water and fill the spaces between connective skin fibres, achieving a plumping effect. Tremella Mushroom Extract boasts even stronger water retention capabilities.

Exhibiting rehydrating and water binding properties, Glycosyl Trehalose is also a good antioxidant source. Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysate is derived from corn and the result of hydrolyzed starch, a polysaccharide carbohydrate. It functions as a hydrator and film-forming agent to trap moisture. Similarly, Wheat Amino Acids exhibit good hydrating capability.

Aloe Vera is anti-inflammatory and packed with vitamins. It can be absorbed up to 7 layers deep to penetrate effectively for considerable cell absorption and moisturisation. This combined with enzyme activity also helps to rejuvenate tissues, promote collagen production plus cleanse and detoxify for healthy pores and skin.

There are a handful of essential oils derived from Orange, Lemon, Basil, Clary, Lavender, Chamomile, Lemongrass and Geranium. Together with Gardenia Extract, they contribute natural fragrance to the serum but also have other skin benefits. Citrus and Chamomile Oils
contain antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which can help fight free radicals and soothe skin by reducing redness and inflammation. They are toxic to bacteria so make an effective acne defense, just as the anti-inflammatory properties of Lavender and Basil Oils also effectively at treat acne. Geranium and Clary Oils can be beneficial to sebum production, helping to achieve a balance, geranium also contributing anti-ageing capability. Lemongrass Oil is an effective cleanser due to antiseptic and astringent properties.
 
Bellflower Hibiscus Anti-Aging Serum
 

the ingredients

Water, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Glycereth-26, Dipropylene Glycol, Niacinamide, Hibiscus Sabdariffa Flower Extract (15,000 Ppm), 1,2-Hexanediol, Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Glycosyl Trehalose, Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysate, Arginine, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Carbomer, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Gardenia Florida Fruit Extract , Xanthan Gum, Adenosine, Disodium EDTA, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tremella Fuciformis (Mushroom) Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Acorus Calamus Root Extract, Perilla Ocymoides Leaf Extract, PPG-26-Buteth-26, Caprylyl Glycol, Wheat Amino Acids, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Peel Oil, Cymbopogon Schoenanthus (Lemongrass) Oil, Pelargonium Graveolens (Geranium) Flower Oil, Ocimum Basilicum (Basil) Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Salvia Sclarea (Clary) Oil, Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile) Flower Oil, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, Copper Tripeptide-1, Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4, Tripeptide-1, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1, Natto Gum, Hexapeptide-9, Nonapeptide-1
 

the packaging

The Bellflower Hibiscus Anti-Aging Serum is elegantly presented in a heavy frosted glass bottle with screw top dropper dispenser. The neck of the bottle has a plastic net which scrapes the pipette clean of excess serum as it is lifted out of the bottle to prevent unnecessary dripping.
 
Bellflower Hibiscus Anti-Aging Serum overhead view
 

the analysis

Assessments returned from both the CosDNA and EWG resources, rate the Bellflower Hibiscus Anti-Aging Serum a moderate warning due to the presence of essential oils, which are known sensitizers.
 
Bellflower Hibiscus Anti-Aging Serum CosDNA Analysis
 

the application

Apply a few drops to face in the AM and PM as part of your skincare routine before moisturizer.
 
Bellflower Hibiscus Anti-Aging Serum Application
 

the scent

The serum has a delicate scent.
 

the cost

A 50ml bottle of the Bellflower serum costs USD$24.00.
 

the availability

This serum is available from Korean skincare suppliers. I received mine directly from the brand.
 

the expiry

The serum has a shelf life of 3 years and must be used within 12 months of opening.
 
Bellflower Hibiscus Anti-Aging Serum Expiry
 

the performance

The Bellflower Hibiscus Anti-Aging Serum comes in a generous 50ml bottle, made of frosted glass, achieving a favourable aesthetic. The pretty pink colour is contributed naturally with nothing added to enhance hue while essential oils are responsible for a very slight herbal scent. The net in the neck of the bottle ensures it doesn’t drip and the pipette is really effective at drawing the serum, always extracted full.

It is thicker than water, loosely gel-like, and spreads so easily with plenty of slip. I use approximately 5-6 drops per application and prioritised it during testing, making it my first layer following toner. The logic is that it achieves the closest contact with the skin and gives me the best chance of realising its benefits. I did this for nearly 8 weeks both day and night. I have used around three quarters of the bottle with this liberal application, intentionally to accelerate results. At this rate, it should last a total of almost 3 months. At the more typical quantity of 2-3 drops, it would likely last twice as long. Given it is such a well priced serum, costing USD$24.00 per bottle, I will continue to apply it generously.
 
Bellflower Hibiscus Anti-Aging Serum Texture
The serum didn’t interfere with other layers of my routine and worked well with all the products with which it was coupled. I tried to keep this as consistent as possible during testing. It feels lovely and silky on the skin, spreading like a dream. It absorbs beautifully, this process being quite rapid and the slight initial tackiness eliminated during a quick dry down. Now to the results…

Well, the hydration hit is instant. It immediately feels like it’s added moisture to the skin and this sensation is quite long lasting and evident when this is the only hydrating serum in my routine. I also found that a good concentration of Niacinamide (2%) contributed some detectable improvement in brightness and tone. I noticed my skin become more even and my complexion more radiant.

In terms of anti-ageing, I look for slowing characteristics in serums not reversing behaviour. I don’t believe a serum can actually reduce lines, rather reduce their appearance through plumping, filling out age lines and making them seem less prominent. Take away the hydration and you’re back to where you started. I think an effective product can however improve elasticity and skin strength.

A short trial period of only two months makes it near impossible to detect improvements in fine lines and wrinkles anyway, particularly when commencing the trial with already well hydrated skin. Nonetheless, in testing I stopped using my Timeless Matrixyl Synthe’6 and CoQ10 serums since these promise similar outcomes and have been my primary and consistent anti-agers for nearly two years now.
 
Bellflower Hibiscus Anti-Aging Serum
My skin showed absolutely no loss of firmness or increased signs of ageing, suggesting the hibiscus serum is at least as competent in performance. For the record, I absolutely love what these Timeless products do for my skin, so I rate this serum a clear winner since it achieves comparable results.

My skin looks hydrated, bright and fresh, fine lines appearing ever so slightly improved. With continued use, the hydration and antioxidant protection it offers would together slow the signs of ageing. Therefore, I will conclude that this product has successfully met its objectives.
 

the conclusion

This serum is very gentle, enjoyable to use, budget friendly and effective. Mature skin will appreciate the anti-ageing benefits, dehydrated complexions will love the moisture boost and a lightweight feel will also agree with oilier skin. Those sensitive to essential oils may need to patch test before using. Personally, I have really enjoyed incorporating this serum into my day and night routines and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it.
 

the summary

Pros Cons
Affordable Limited online availability
Effectively hydrates the skin Essential Oils may be sensitizing
Brightens and evens skin tone
Reduces the appearance of fine lines
Easily integrates into routine
Quick, full absorption without residue
Gentle formulation

 

the references

Bellflower website
Hibiscus for Skin, the Natural Firming Plant Annemarie Skin Care
Hibiscus Paula’s Choice Skincare Ingredient Dictionary
The ‘Botox’ Plant: Hibiscus benefits for beautiful skin The Green People Community
Niacinamide Paula’s Choice Skincare Dictionary
Niacinamide Benefits for Skin Jared Paventi
What are the Best Products with Niacinamide? Nicki Zevola Benvenuti
Sodium Hyaluronate Truth In Aging
Butylene Glycol The Dermatology Review
Honeysuckle Flower Extract Paula’s Choice Skincare Dictionary
Copper Tripeptide-1 Charlene DeHaven, MD
Adenosine Paula’s Choice Skincare Dictionary
Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice Radiant RG-Cell Cosmeceuticals
Trehalose Truth In Aging
Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysate Paula’s Choice Skincare Dictionary
Arginine The Dermatology Review
Will Collagen Make Your Skin Look Younger? Root Cause Medical Clinic
Gardenia Florida ExtractWheat Amino Acids
Sweet flag powder – Acorus calamus Go Ayur
Wheat Amino Acids Paula’s Choice Skincare Dictionary
Peptides for Skin Paula’s Choice Skincare Dictionary
Peptides for Skin: What They Are and What They Do | Dermstore Blog Alisha Racker

 


the disclaimer

Please read in context with my disclaimer.
 
This product was provided to me free of charge by Bellflower for review. This post only includes my honest opinion and experience of this product and is in no way influenced by Bellflower, any of its representatives or any other third party.
 


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