Amanda Elias the person behind the brand Bravura London & http://www.inkmedix.com. She is like any of us, a beauty obsessed mother of 3 adorable girls. Amanda’s passion for skincare and make-up started at an early age and now its been 18 years in the beauty industry.The motivating factor behind the ingenious creation of Bravura London is loving luxury without the price tag. Below is my chat with Amanda for an insight in Bravura London and her passion for skincare will be clearly evident.
1. A lot of your products have a strong presence of AHA’s, why did you specifically choose acids to develop your skincare range?
Exfoliation is so important for the skin but scrubs containing harsh particles such as nut kernels can cause little micro tears in the skin, we don’t notice these but they can cause irritation, dryness and breakouts. I discovered AHA’s and started to use them on my own delicate skin, even a face flannel used too firmly can break my skin yet I was able to use strengths as high as 50% glycolic acid on my face with no side effects! I also saw just how superior chemical exfoliation is to manual exfoliation, how it leaves the skin soft, glowing and healthy without that tight, shiny look or feel. I started supplying just glycolic acid, then customers started asking for other acids, then skincare and it all went from there.
2. Amanda you assist a lot of people with making right skincare choices from the line, in your experience and exposure to all the questions that come your way, what are the most common mistakes or myths people have?
The most common mistake is over exfoliation, whether it be using acids too often or using scrubs and acids, or very commonly, using products such as a sonic brush twice a day. Over exfoliation can cause irritation, dryness and very commonly, breakouts. As soon as I receive an email from a customer saying their skin is breaking out when using the acids, I’ll ask their routine, 99% of the time they’re over exfoliating. Not everyone can use acids of course, there are occasions where it’s simply too strong for the skin but more often than not, it’s over exfoliation.
The biggest myth is that oily skin doesn’t need moisturising or that people with oily skin should stay away from oils. I have oily skin but because I moisturise religiously and use an oil cleanser daily, my skin doesn’t get ridiculously oily. When oily skin is dehydrated, it will produce more oil to over compensate, feeding your skin with moisture keeps it happy.
(HHW – Please someone engrave this on a rock of beauty….)
3. How does Bravura differentiate itself with several other market players that cater to inexpensive options for acid products?
I think what makes us unique is that we’re not just about selling, for me it’s all about helping people with their skin, that sounds cliché I know but genuinely, it’s true. When I recommend our products I also give customers a link to a cleansing routine I’ve written, for people with hormonal acne I send them an article I’ve written on supplements that can help control hormones and in turn reduce the breakouts. If I don’t think our products will work for someone, I’ll tell them so.
Nothing makes me happier than seeing our customers not only love our products but talk about their with their friends, I’m tagged in posts on facebook, instagram and twitter where people are talking about what the products have done for their skin, the excitement they feel from the results of my products is just the most wonderful feeling, running a business and being up against huge companies with massive budgets is hard work but it’s these comments that help keep me going, knowing just how much of an impact it has on a person’s self confidence, it’s very very rewarding.
4. What is your main concern in today’s skincare industry as it stands?
False advertising, fake, photoshopped images, adverts telling women they should strive for unachievable perfection, brands telling women they should look young to be desirable and to feel shame in laughter lines, giving young people the impression that if they get rid of their spots suddenly they’ll become more popular, all these subliminal messages that are really eating at our self esteem. If you’ve had stretch marks from having a baby, no oil will magically cure them, if you have melasma, no cream is going to fade it and as for your pores, it’s normal for them to be a little visible, magazine images are photoshopped to conceal them. I really could go on and on.
(I guess Amanda and I could have a separate post on this topic specifically! Couldnt agree more!)
5. You have fabulous glowing skin yourself, so could we please have a sneak peek in your daily skin regime?
Ahh thank you, my skin honestly is no where near perfect but it’s probably the best it could be, I once had a Dr not believe that I had polycystic ovaries because my skin was too clear, it is achievable.
Obviously I mainly use Bravura products, I NEVER ever forget to cleanse, no matter how tired I am, even if I’m not wearing make-up, I always cleanse. I use the First Cleanse Oil and follow with the Purifying Gel Cleanser or Our Volcanic Mud Cleanser, to tone I use the Revitalising Ginseng Toner. I use the Hyaluronic Acid Serum and the Azulene Moisturiser. We don’t have an eye cream so I’m usually trying different brands. The same goes for face Masque’s, I have a few different brands such as Eve Lom, Nuxe and Korres, it depends on how my skin is feeling. I more often that not alternate between the Glycolic acid 10% and Salicylic Acid 2% but as it’s winter, I’m using the Lactic Acid 10% a little more often. If I’m feeling a little lazy one evening, I’ll use the Dermaflannel instead of one of the acids or one of the acid serums or creams, I go by how my skin is feeling. Because I have sensitive skin which is prone to acne, particularly hormonal I don’t really change my routine too much, I’ve tried incorporating a facial oil in to my routine, but sadly I haven’t found one that doesn’t break me out.
I had a treatment recently called Sculptra, after having 3 children and a bit of yoyo dieting I’d lost fat in my face, sculptra stimulates your own collagen to help plump the skin from within, I had it 2 months ago and so I should see true results in another 1-2 months but so far, I’m happy.
I also use fake tans, my favourite face tanner is James Reed sleep mask, although I don’t sleep in it. It leaves me skin with a healthy glow and doesn’t cause breakouts.
Express Review – Salicylic Acid 2% and Lactic Acid 10% (Infused with Rose) Peels
Basics Information about Lactic & Salicylic Acid
- Lactic – its Alpha Hydroxy acid, larger molecule, therefore more surface exfoliation and resurfacing action. Excellent for any acne scarring, sun spots, pigmentation, blotchiness, and boosting radiance. All skin types could use this including dry and dehydrated skins (also operates as humectant).
- Salicylic – its Beta Hydroxy acid, smaller molecule, allowing deeper penetration in skin. Excellent for breakouts, underlying skin congestion (which doesn’t surface no matter what you do), blackheads, controlling sebum production, tightening pores. Suited to oily, combination, congestion prone skins.
Bravura London website claims the ph level for Lactic acid is 3.75 & Salicylic acid is 3, which means it well within the range where acids work effectively.
Uses: As a peel – leave it on for 30mins (recommended to start with 10mins), or Acid tone (after cleansing and before serum), or as a Serum (after tone), or as a spot treatment (for fresh acne scars or pesky angry spots) or as a part of my Triple Mask Routine.
Results: Its lovely, but I find it gentle on my acid acclimatized skin, so I prefer it as acid toner or serum or spot treatment. Lactic – visible difference on my skin the following morning. Firmer, brighter, even toned, radiant. Honestly my absolute favourite peel over any other. Salicylic – my spots calm down (redness goes down). More importantly any underlying skin congestion which doesn’t surface, this is excellent solution for those bastards. Yes I Hate em!
If I had to sum it up in One Word. Fabulous. Seriously at the given price point, it works like any other expensive peel, easy on wallet, wonderful on skin, what else would a woman want?!
Best PERK of shopping with Bravura London – Amanda will personally assist you with your skincare or product queries. If you’re unsure, drop in a line and she will help you make the right decision for your skin.
Lactic Acid Peel Ingredients: Purified Water, Rose Floral Water, Lactic Acid, Glycerin, Hydroxyethyl Cellulose, Sodium Hydroxide and Sodium Citrate.
Salicylic Acid Peel Ingredients: Distilled Water, Salicylic acid, Propylene Glycol, Hexylene Glycol, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Hydroxide.
Excellent products and a wonderful, passionate person behind those products. Definitely recommend trying them and as for me, sure shot repurchase 🙂