Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Sibu Sea Buckthorn: Nourishing Face Cream, Seed Oil, & Omega-7 Oil

Hi all! After a very long, totally unintentional hiatus, I am back and ready to blog again. Most of it was genuinely being way too busy/stressed with work/school/life to blog, but after things died down, it was surprisingly hard to get back into the habit of blogging again. I have a lot of catching up to do!

Sibu Beauty skin care review
Sibu Nourishing Face Cream, Sea Berry Seed Oil, Omega-7 Oil
We'll start with a skin care line that I have been wearing and testing while I was MIA: Sibu's sea buckthorn skin care and dietary supplement products. Sibu's headliner ingredient is a berry from sea buckthorn shrubs, said to be high in vitamins C and E, as well as fatty acids Omegas 3, 6, 7, and 9. These properties, Sibu says, make their sea berry products helpful in addressing "problematic skin"--from rosacea and eczema to acne.

My usual skin care review research turned up a 2014 post from The Beauty Brains (specifically about Sibu, actually) citing some studies indicating improved wound healing and potential to protect against UV damage. I wasn't able to find too many studies out there yet on the topical benefits of sea buckthorn oil.

Sibu Beauty Nourishing Face Cream review
Nourishing Face Cream is a medium-weight moisturizer in a frosted glass bottle with pump packaging. I like the product but find it better suited for my skin in colder, drier weather. With the weather warming up here (it was 30°C the weekend before last!), my face needs a very heavy blotting by afternoon. The product is broadly described as being "rescue for problematic skin", but because it contains so many emollient and occlusive ingredients, such as meadowfoam, soybean, argan, coconut, and avocado oils, I wouldn't recommend it for oily or acne-prone skin types. Those moisturizing ingredients would be right at home in a dry-skinned person's routine though!

Lower on the ingredient list are a handful of citrus-based oils: tangerine leaf, bergamot fruit, and grapefruit peel, which I'm guessing are what gives this face cream its bright, cheerful scent. It is important to know, though, that citrus oils have potential to be photosensitizing or irritating to skin, especially in higher concentrations (see this CIR review). I've used Nourishing Face Cream daily for several weeks and have not experienced any irritation or photosensitvity that I know of. That being said, I would be cautious about using this or any other skin care product containing citrus oils prior to a lot of UV exposure such as tanning or a summer day at the beach. If you are careful about this and low concentrations of citrus oils are not an irritation risk for you, Nourishing Face Cream has very good moisturizing properties that would suit dry skin.

Last, somewhat nitpicky note: some products have pumps that are sensitive enough to allow you to control exactly how much to dispense. Nourishing Face Cream's pump is not one of those. The amount that gets dispensed in one pump is not quite enough for my whole face, but two is way too much, so I use the excess on my neck.

Sibu Beauty Sea Berry Oil Review
Sibu Sea Berry Seed Oil is a straightforward product containing only organic sea buckthorn seed oil. This is the topical grade version, a pale, sunshiny yellow oil in an amber-coloured dropper bottle. I've used a few facial oils in the past, and this one is the "driest" of them all: compared to the argan and rosehip oils I've tried, it doesn't slip and slide around as much, and absorbs a bit more quickly. It also doesn't make my face as shiny/oily as the Nourishing Face Cream.

Sibu Beauty Sea Berry Oil Review
I use 2-3 drops all over my face as the last step in my skin care routine, either morning or night. My forehead/right eyebrow area are problem spots for me, and I find that I get dry flakes around there if I apply foundation after using this oil. It's not quite moisturizing enough to address my drier skin patches, but may be a nice, lightweight option for someone more in the normal or oily type.

As a dietary supplement, sea berry seed oil and pulp oil improved the symptoms of atopic dermatitis (eczema) in this double-blind study of 49 patients. However, I found another article indicating there is "no convincing evidence" that dietary supplements of any kind can improve eczema (this is also what my dermatologist told me a few years ago, though my own personal experience has proven otherwise.)

Sibu Beauty skincare review
top: Nourishing Face Cream / bottom: Sea Berry Seed Oil

Sibu Beauty Omega-7 Sea Berry Oil Review
Omega-7 Oil is Sibu's dietary supplement version of the sea buckthorn oil. In addition to the dropper bottle version, sea buckthorn supplement is available in softgel capsules or puree. Sibu says this oil "supports heart health, mucosal membranes, metabolic systems, healthy skin & nails". Sea buckthorn is very high in omega-7 (if you google "Omega 7", a lot of the top results will be related to sea buckthorn), but unfortunately there isn't as much information or studies available on the benefits of this particular fatty acid as, say, Omega-3.

Sibu Beauty Omega-7 Sea Berry Oil Review
It has an odd, plastic-y taste. Directions indicate to take 2 full dropperfuls, but just one drop under my tongue was unpleasant enough. I wouldn't recommend taking it by itself, but it can be mixed into a smoothie or yogurt to help mask the taste. As with any dietary supplement, it can be pretty hard to gauge effectiveness - it's a little easier if the effects are mainly external (stronger nails, etc), but there's no way for me to tell if there was any boost to my heart health or metabolism.

Is it worth checking out? The price point for the skin care products is pretty reasonable! The Nourishing Face Cream was surprisingly moisturizing and packed with lots of hydrating oils, which makes it great for winter use but probably not a great option for oily skin types. (But again, you should be careful about sun exposure while using this due to the citrus oils added. Always patch test!) The Sea Berry Seed Oil, while not a favourite, is a nice addition to my growing collection of facial oils. It might be worth a look if you've found other oils too heavy or greasy, or want to try 100% pure sea buckthorn oil with no other ingredients added. I would skip the Omega-7 Oil until there are more studies examining its efficacy as a supplement for its various health benefits.

Available at Nourishing Face Cream ($24.95 USD / 30 ml); Sea Berry Seed Oil ($19.95 USD / 10 ml); Omega-7 Oil ($34.95 / 50 ml)

Nourishing Face Cream ingredients: water, Hippophae rhamnoides (Sea Buckthorn) oil, glycerin, behenyl alcohol, cetearyl alcohol, polyglyceryl-10 pentastearate, Olea europaea (olive) fruit unsaponifiables, benzyl alcohol, Limanthes alba (meadowfoam) seed oil, caprylic/capric triglyceride, Glycine soja (soybean) oil, sodium levulinate, Citrus aurantium dulcis (orange) peel oil, xanthan gum, sodium anisate, Butyrospermum parkii (shea) butter extract, Argania spinosa kernel oil, Cocos nucifera (coconut) oil, Persea gratissima (avocado) oil, Plukenetia volubilis seed oil, panthenol, sodium phytate, Citrus aurantium bergamia (bergamot) fruit oil, Citrus grandis (grapefruit) peel oil, Citrus reticulata (tangerine) leaf oil, Coriandrum sativun (coriander) fruit oil, Cymbopogon citratus leaf oil, Aloe barbadensis leaf juice

Sea Berry Seed Oil ingredients: therapeutic grade organic Sea Buckthorn seed oil

Omega-7 Oil: Sea Buckthorn seed oil

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