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Living Nature Firming Flax Serum- reader reviewed


Didn't irritate sensitive skin


Leaves skin feeling dry and needs to be followed up with a moisturizer
July 12, 2012 Reviewed by Kim 4 Comments
A gentle serum that provides a subtle firming effect

Reviewed by Kim

Living Nature is another interesting line to come out of New Zealand. Its all-natural products are created from New Zealand’s native plants and are intended to “enhance your skin’s own natural function” while nourishing, purifying and healing the skin. I was fortunate enough to test the Firming Flax Serum ($47), which is described as “a potent, oil-free serum for firmer, smoother skin.”

The serum has a really unique set of ingredients, the most interesting being the harakeke flax gel which is a mild astringent that claims to “cause your pores to contract, preventing your skin from losing moisture for fewer lines and wrinkles.” Harakeke flax seed oil is high in omega-3 and from the little research that I did, I learned that the indigenous Polynesian people of New Zealand, the Maori, used harakeke for medicinal purposes. Harakeke contains enzymes that give it blood clotting and antiseptic qualities to help healing processes, and as a poultice it was used for boils, tumors and abscesses, as well as to treat varicose ulcers. The serum also has active manuka honey, an ingredient that has gotten a bunch of attention here on TIA. There’s also rosehip oil, grapeseed oil, aloe vera, and lots of other nourishing ingredients. I was definitely intrigued.

The bottle of serum is pretty tiny, only .4 ounces, but honestly a tiny bit goes a long way. And I’m guessing you easily have more than a month’s worth. It’s a thin light yellow serum with an interesting smell that I neither liked nor disliked and seemed to dissipate after a few minutes. When I first started to use it, I found that my skin felt dry afterwards and I needed to follow up with a moisturizer. But after a week or two, my skin adjusted and just the serum was enough.

Now, let’s get down to what really matters, its effectiveness. I’ll start off by saying what it didn’t do. It didn’t irritate my extra sensitive skin. This is a big deal, because I had been having little bouts of dermatitis and my skin was easily irritated. Luckily, this product did not activate a flare-up. As far as firming goes, I actually did see a subtle effect. For starters, I should mention that I don’t have sagging skin and so the product didn’t really need to do any heavy lifting. But it did create a subtle tightness without that tight dry feeling. I used it for several weeks, and I really enjoyed it. I’m definitely interested in checking out more from this unique New Zealand line.

Ingredients: Aqua (water), Simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil**, Cetearyl olivate (from olive oil), Sorbitan olivate (from olive oil), Vitis vinifera (grape) seed oil, Caprylic/Capric triglyceride (from coconuts), Glucose (plant sugar), Mel (manuka honey), Phormium tenax leaf juice (NZ flax gel), Sclerotium gum, Calendula officinalis extract, Euphrasia officinalis (eye bright) extract, Parfum (natural fragrance)*, Daucus carota (carrot) extract, Hypericum perforatum (st.john’s wort) oil, Rosa canina (rosehip) fruit oil**, Triticum vulgare (wheat) germ oil, Oenothera biennis (evening primrose) oil, Glucose oxidase (from milk), Lactoperoxidase (from milk), Tocopherol (vitamin E), Citronellol*, Limonene*, Linalool* * From natural essential oils **Certified organic

  • July 19, 2012

    by ValerieB

    Susan S. - Very good point. I will ask for clarification from Living Nature.

  • July 18, 2012

    by Susan S.

    I noticed that at the beginning of the review it says the product is described as oil-free, yet it contains grapeseed and rosehip oils. as well as jojoba, St. John's Wort, and Evening Primrose oils. I know these are organic oils, but they are still oil, so how can they say their product is oil-free? Just wondering ... and not that it would stop me from using it. Thanks!

  • July 14, 2012

    by Nisha

    Hi Charley!

    I'm so glad that this serum worked out and that it helped with flaky skin as that's not easy to find -& thrilled to know that you wear sunscreen in winter!

  • July 13, 2012

    by Charley

    I am excited to read this review and previous ones by Nisha and ValerieB. I got a bottle of the Firming Flax Serum at the beginning of spring. At the time, there were no reviews of Living Nature on TIA, but the company seems so committed to safe, effective and humanely-gathered ingredients, BPA-free packaging, minimizing their carbon footprint by using alternative energy sources and conserving clean water by using rainwater, PLUS the Firming Flax Serum’s ingredient list sounded so wholesome (with the exception of linalool which gave me pause after reading Marta’s article on the subject)—that I saved my pennies and sprang for a bottle. As Kim said in her review above, it requires a little patience. My skin needed serious help after being traumatized by overheated apartments and offices during winter. At first, I applied it to cleansed skin, let it absorb, then slathered on a heavy moisturizer. Gradually, my skin felt less and less tight and raw so I eased up on the moisturizer, and even skipping it altogether on my glistening T-zone. Eventually, I was able to use the serum and just a sunscreen during the day. That’s unheard of for me. It felt too heavy once Brooklyn weather turned tropical, so I decided to save the rest for further evaluation next winter. But in one month of use, the flaky skin on my cheeks, forehead and nostrils went away, and nearly gone are the fine dry lines that crisscrossed my cheeks. I can finally tackle the enlarged pores and unevenness which probably resulted from suffocating my skin with heavy but ineffective moisturizers. I felt like it restored enough balance in my skin that I was able to begin experimenting with the Discover With Marta summer collection.

    Nisha, thank you for your humidifier recommendation. I'm definitely starting to shop around so I will be ready come fall. I’ve rethought what I told you about not seeing any “firming” action—True, it did not lift the droopy corners of my mouth, but my skin went from windburned and just hanging there like a bit of cling wrap that lost its cling, to hydrated and somewhat plump. So, I too, recommend it!

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