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Reviewed by Jen
As a fan of the YBF Antioxidant product, I was quite excited to receive a bottle of the Balance ($45 in the shop) to review! A 1-oz bottle has lasted me for 6 weeks already, so a little goes a long way.
I have to admit that I wasn't sure how best to use Balance, as it isn't specifically described as a serum OR as a moisturizer. The card that comes with the bottle states that it is "anti-aging skincare" that "calms your skin & absorbs excess oil". It also indicates that it can be applied on its own or layered on top of other products. The ambiguity posed a challenge for me, as I wasn't sure whether I should use it in addition, or as a replacement, for my serum and/or moisturizer. I decided to try it in a variety of combinations & found that I liked it best when used in addition to my moisturizer. It gave my skin more of a matte finish & seemed to make the rosacea on my cheek less noticeable. Nylon-12, one of the ingredients in Balance, is an oil absorber, which is what probably provided me with the matte finish I described.
One of the benefits of Balance, according to the card, is that it fights against breakouts & helps reduce the duration & damage of existing breakouts. Fortunately, acne isn't a problem for me anymore, so I can't provide feedback on this benefit. However, it contains niacin & Vitamin B5, which help reduce flare-ups, which should be very helpful for those suffering from acne. There are a couple of additional ingredients (Bisabolol & azulene), which, according to the YBF website, soothe & help your skin settle down and recuperate from whatever ails it — including breakouts, razor burn and irritation from harsh weather or products. I am anxious to try this next ski season, as my face always gets irritated from the cold, dry weather.
The main anti-aging ingredient is L-carnosine, a natural dipeptide consisting of the amino acids beta-alanine and L-histidine. It is naturally present in all body cells, but Its concentration decreases with age, and its decrease is intimately linked with the aging process. It works as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. There was a TIA article written on L-Carnosine a couple of years ago, if you'd like more detailed information.
The price is quite reasonable & I'd definitely recommend it to anyone dealing with acne, or for anyone looking for a fairly light moisturizer, which would likely be the younger folks, as we "mature" folks usually need something a bit more hydrating. The fact that I liked it best when used in combination with my existing moisturizer vs. as a stand alone product, will keep me from having it as a regular part of my daily skincare regime. My husband already complains about how long it takes me to do my skincare, so adding another product without subtracting one...well, it just wouldn't do!
Reverse osmosis water, nylon-12, olive squalane, L-carnosine, olivem (cetearyl olivate, sorbitan olivate), ppg5 ceteth-20, niacin, tetradecylthioacetic acid (TTA), c10-30 alkyl acrylate crosspolymer, vitamin B5, alpha bisabolol, sodium hyaluronate, lavender oil, cedarwood oil, niaouli oil, triethanolamine, paraben du, azulene (guaiazulene)